Near field communication (NFC) is available in Debian via various subsystems and libraries. For experimenting with NFC, the library libnfc is most likely the most useful. The hardware that is best supported by libnfc is what contains the NFC controller PN533. For details see: http://nfc-tools.org/index.php?title=Devices_compatibility_matrix
Currently, there are very few packages in the Debian archive that benefit from libnfc. One such package is mrtdreader. It is used to read the content of machine-readable travel documents such as passports. If you have hardware supported by libnfc, and a machine readable passport, you can run:
where <MRZ> is the lower line of the machine-readable zone on the ID page of the passport.