mobile wallet

Back up bro! Does anyone really want smartphone NFC?

Alternative payment methods are pretty much the hottest topic around, and last week EE previewed its new NFC smartphone wallet. Retailers, however, are pretty adamant NFC wallets are not worth their time.

At the same time, marketers are still plugging away with new advertising campaigns using NFC technology to deliver content. Is this anything other than a fad?

In this post I look at the uses of NFC, assess some recent campaigns, and ponder what the future holds. (Major hat tip to NFC World, where I found a bunch of the campaign info).

Security and fraud concerns are biggest barriers to mobile payment adoption

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.

Just 8% of consumers have used mobile payments: report

When mobile industry body MEF made its predictions for 2012 it suggested that there would be some spectacular trials using NFC, but that mobile payments would fail to have a significant commercial impact.

And as the months passed the prediction seemed to be coming true – Visa was planning to use the Olympics as a showcase for NFC mobile payments, Starbucks upgraded its app to allow users to pay with it at the till, and PayPal launched a number of mobile payment trials with US and UK retailers.

Yet in spite of these newsworthy trials, a new survey from eDigitalResearch seems to confirm that consumers still haven’t got on board with mobile payments.