NFC payments: Consumers lack awareness and trust

December 04, 2013, 3:12 PM GMT+0

The public’s lack of awareness and trust in near field communication (NFC) payment technology is preventing its adoption, a new YouGov report shows.

YouGov’s “The Future of Mobile Digital and Contactless Payments” report provides estimates of awareness and usage of digital payment methods. The report shows that just over a third (35%) of UK adults are aware of NFC-enabled mobile devices, a figure that has barely increased since YouGov last looked into the area in September 2012. The latest findings also show that fewer than one in ten (9%) mobile and smartphone owners know that their device is NFC-enabled and of these, just over a fifth (22%) ever use it to make payments.

There is strong resistance to the technology among non-adopters. More than half of mobile phone owner that are not interested in NFC-enabled technology (56%) do not believe that the technology is safe to use and a similar number (53%) are concerned about their financial exposure if their phone were lost or stolen. Moreover, given general contentment with using “Chip & PIN”, almost four in ten (39%) say they do not see a need for the technology.

By contrast, the UK experienced strong growth in both the awareness and usage of contactless payment cards in the year to September 2013. Awareness of the technology grew from 55% to 70% during the period and acknowledged ownership increased from 16% to 25%.

However, use of contactless payment cards was more limited with only four in ten (40%) owners ever using their contactless card. The one key drawback to more usage is that is has yet to be universally adopted by retailers, with six in ten users (62%) wanting more places that accepted contactless card payments.

John Gilbert, Consulting Director YouGov Technology & Telecoms said: ‘Despite the advances in NFC mobile technology, the industry has yet to increase the awareness nor put forth a compelling value proposition to the consumer to adopt NFC payments. In addition, retail adoption is rather limited curbing the consumers’ desire to transition.’

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