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Much was written about the predicted boom in mobile payments last year, but it still seems to be some way from becoming an every day payment method.

NFC and mobile wallets were all set to become commonplace following a successful trial at the Olympics, but despite the increasing use of contactless bank cards I’m yet to see anyone pay for anything using their mobile phone.

However new research into consumer attitudes suggests that people are slowly edging towards accepting the technology.

A survey of 2,006 consumers by eDigitalResearch found that 39% of respondents had seen a contactless payment point, up from just 15% in May 2012.

Furthermore, ownership of NFC-enabled handsets has also doubled since May 2012. Around 7% of those surveyed claim that they own an NFC-enabled handset, though this is likely to be inaccurate as the survey also found that 26% of people are still unaware of contactless mobile payments.

Before this survey were you aware of what contactless mobile payments were?

Among those who have used contactless mobile payments, supermarkets and fast food outlets were the most common locations to have tried the technology.

Benefits vs. limitations

The survey also asked respondents what they perceived to be the pros and cons of using contactless payments.

Ease, speed and convenience are seen as the main consumer benefits, and as with the previous study just over a quarter (26%) see it as simply keeping up with the times. 

But as before, almost one third (31%) don’t see any benefits whatsoever.

And when it comes to the perceived limitations, security and fraud again crop up as the biggest barriers, followed by concerns over technical issues.

A third of people (33%) also don’t see any point in changing from their current payment methods, and a further 30% feel there simply aren’t enough pay points around.

David Moth

Published 22 May, 2013 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1684 more posts from this author

Comments (2)

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Tim

I don’t know why anybody would want to pay with their phone when they have (multiple) contact free cards. I’m already finding the number of these cards to be a problem – I have 1 debit card, 2 credit cards, Oyster card, work pass and arsenal season ticket which currently interfere with one another. Adding a phone into that seems unnecessary.

I do think that the cards add something however, the process of paying for a coffee or a burrito when there is a huge queue of people building up is much quicker when you only have to wave a card rather than enter the card, enter the pin, wait for approval, get handed a receipt etc.

Barclaycard offered a halfway house of a solution whereby they will send you a sticker version of your card which you can put on the back of a phone and pretend you have NFC. It just seemed cumbersome and showy so i took it off after 2 weeks having not used it.

NFC seems like a solution which will cause problems rather than solve any.

over 3 years ago

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Jamie Crisp, User Experience Consultant at Co-operative Banking Group

"I don’t know why anybody would want to pay with their phone when they have (multiple) contact free cards. I’m already finding the number of these cards to be a problem – I have 1 debit card, 2 credit cards, Oyster card, work pass and arsenal season ticket which currently interfere with one another. Adding a phone into that seems unnecessary."

I think the point is that you wouldn't have to carry all of these around and just use your phone.

over 3 years ago

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