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RFID Tags vs QR Code: Which is the better tagging solution?

Braden Lewis

With both RFID and QR Code Tags being contactless, simple and effective tagging solutions, it makes implementation easy for all businesses too. But is RFID or QR the way to go? Find out in our guide.

As the tagging industry evolves, we see more and more technologies either fade into obscurity or become increasingly prevalent. 

Regardless of your business type, it’s important to understand the solutions that can improve your operations, increase the security and safety of your operations, and maximise efficiency.

In this guide, we look at the differences between RFID and QR safety tags, their benefits, and which comes out on top.

With concerns for COVID not going anywhere either, the demand for contactless technology is greater than ever. With both RFID and QR Code Tags being contactless, simple and effective, it makes implementation easy for all businesses too.

But is RFID or QR the way to go? Let’s find out.

What are RFID tags?

Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID tags, do as the name suggests. The data held in this technology is transferred by electromagnetic fields which automatically identify and track tagged items.

RFID tags typically use a microchip with an antenna, which communicates with a reader and an access control server.

RFID technology is mainly used for asset tracking, helping your team locate and identify equipment, or anything you decide to fix the tag to.


Quick Response (QR) Codes are a variation of the traditional barcode, designed in the 90s in Japan.

Just like barcodes, QR Codes simply contain data that is scanned by a reader and transfers that information to it. QR Codes can be used for almost anything, including tags, tickets for events, bringing up menus in restaurants from your phone, and so much more.

Each QR Code is unique, again, like a barcode. The use of vertical and horizontal lines creates a pattern for the data that can be scanned and read in as little as 2-3 seconds.

What are the benefits of RFID tags?

RFID tags provide a range of benefits for many industries and uses, the most influential being:

  • Can be scanned in bulk – Depending on the way you decide to use RFID, this can be a really important factor. Having the option to scan numerous RFID Tags in a short space of time can not only increase the efficiency of your operation, but reduce human errors that occur with more manual systems.
  • Provides real-time dataReal-time data can be captured via RFID tags at multiple stages and provide opportunities for better management, security, and operations. 
  • Robust technologyDue to the components used in RFID tags, they operate in more challenging situations than other systems. 

Take advantage of RFID

Explore RFID tagging RFID Tag

What are the benefits of QR Code Tags?

For tagging, QR Codes are typically the favourite of the two. Here are a few reasons why.

  • Unlimited space for information – With no limit to the amount of information that can be linked to QR Codes, you don’t have to worry about how much data is stored. This means you have endless possibilities with how you use QR Codes for your operation.
  • UniqueBecause of the way QR Codes are engineered, endless amounts can be created for your business with each being unique to the application.
  • AffordableGiven the functionality QR Codes provide, they are surprisingly affordable when compared to similar technology solutions. Usually, a small fee is required to use a QR Code software service, and the printing doesn’t break the bank either.

Which is the better solution for tagging?

In a situation where technology is required for your safety tagging solution, there is one option that takes the edge.

When it comes to tagging, QR Code Tags are widely favoured for a few reasons.

RFID Tags require a specific scanning device which can be expensive, whilst QR Code Tags can be scanned by most handheld mobile devices, such as a tablet or phone. This makes them much more practical and convenient, as well as being a cheaper option with a quicker return on investment.

But that’s not all. Another big factor supporting the use of QR Code Tags over RFID in tagging is the visual element.

Tags displaying QR Codes can also be printed with any other details too. This includes the information that the QR Code will read when it’s scanned. With this information visually available, the Tag can still be used - even if you don’t have a reader at hand or your system has crashed.

Additionally, if your system breaks down, the RFID Tag cannot be read without an RFID reader, but the QR Tag can be tracked without a scanner by using the sequential number below the code.

QR code tags can also be manufactured much more cost effectively than RFID Tags, especially when including bespoke details and company logos etc on the design. As QR Tags can be manufactured in many different colours, colour coding systems can be used to give quick reference of the inspection status (even without needing to scan the QR code). 

Whilst in many cases QR Codes excel, RFID could just be worth a consideration. In fact, it comes down to what you’re looking to achieve and what your tagging requirements are for your operations. So, be sure to speak with a tagging expert and discuss your requirements for the best outcome.

QR Code tags from REGALTAGS

At REGALTAGS, we provide both QR Code and RFID options for your tagging needs.  If you’re in need of a QR Code or RFID tagging solution and want to find out more, contact our team of experts today. We’re always happy to help and answer any tagging related questions you may have.



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