A new study by YouGov has found that just 23% of consumers want to make payments with their phone, instead of cash and 20% said they preferred chip and pin. 91% of those asked didn’t know what NFC (Near Field Communications) and 70% had no idea what a mobile wallet was. So, whilst many people in the mobile industry are excited about NFC (or contactless, or mobile wallets or TapTap if you’re Orange or whatever we’re calling it this week …) it would seem that consumer adoption will be a major barrier. Contactless technologies are widely in use: door entry is cards; travel cards, such as London’s Oyster; and it is in many credit/debit cards. In spite of that, 61% of those who have the technology already never use it.
That’s a somewhat disappointing set of figures given the vast spend on rolling out these technologies, not to mention the considerable sums that Barclays have thrown at their TV advertising and iPhone games. Clearly, there is a lot of work to be done to get consumers to both understand and be reassured by contactless. People whizzing down giant roller coasters clearly isn’t doing the trick. Perhaps something more direct, such as shop assistants suggesting that customers use contactless (it’s faster) or even rewards or money off for doing so. It’s in the banks, shops and operators interests to shift to mobile-based NFC, so why not make it worth the consumer’s while?