Tuesday, 15 May 2012

NFC – Not Fully Committed ?

75% of contactless card owners have not used them

Figures published by Mintel show that in the UK, only a quarter of people issued with contactless cards have ever used them to make a payment.

Paradoxically, a healthy 62 per cent agree that it is a more convenient payment method whilst 29 per cent are neutral on the issue and nine per cent disagree.

Furthermore, 72 per cent of consumers think that banks should only issue contactless cards on request showing a good degree of apathy towards the technology.

Toby Clark, head of UK financial services at Mintel, said the limited acceptance of contactless cards and a lack of "a compelling reason" to switch from chip and PIN are putting off consumers.

He added that security was also an area of concern.

"People are worried about the security implications of contactless cards - in particular, how easy it would be for thieves to use stolen or lost cards," he said.

Personally, I believe there are many factors at stake, firstly, not enough merchants are accepting contactless transactions, and secondly, they are not doing enough to promote the fact that they do (possibly for our friends at the acquirer end to address??).

There is also the angle of cardholder education. Are Issuers doing enough to communicate the contactless ability on cards? In a market where consumers are perfectly happy to ‘tap and go’ on a closed system such as Oyster, why wouldn’t they automatically extend this to their daily morning cappuccino and newspaper?

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