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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : May 28, 2013

NFC awareness up but many see no benefits to the technology

As more businesses and brands, and handset manufacturers, invest in contactless payment technologies, consumer awareness is starting to grow. According to the latest Mobile Payment Index from eDigitalResearch, consumer awareness has more than doubled in the last 12 months.

by Helen Leggatt

The eDigitalResearch report reveals that 53% of those surveyed have used their mobile device to make a contactless payment, compared with 47% one year ago. Furthermore, of the 2,006 consumers surveyed, more had seen a contactless payment point today (39%) than back in May, 2012 (15%).

However, while awareness is on the increase, 30% of consumers don't think there are any benefits to the technology. While it may take a shorter time to make a payment, the amount of time waiting for, say, a meal in a restaurant or a coffee to be made is no quicker.

"When eDigitalResearch first launched the Mobile Payment Index one year ago, we saw that awareness, adoption and spending rates were relatively low amongst consumers. As a result we concluded that retailers and providers needed to come together to increase consumer knowledge surrounding the technology," said Derek Eccleston, commercial director at eDigitalResearch.

"These latest results show that they have gone some way in achieving this, but now need to turn their attention to tackling issues of security and trust, especially as these are still some of the biggest perceived limitations of the technology, if they are to make the most of this upsurge in consumer awareness."

eDigitalResearch's report comes at a time when issues surrounding contactless payments have come to the fore. Stories of digital pickpockets taking advantage of NFC capabilities and charging errors have surfaced, particularly situations at stores such as Britain's Marks & Spencers and Pret A Manger.

While many big retailers in the UK are holding back from introducing contactless payment systems, some are trailling the method including, most recently, UK-based Wal-Mart subsidiary, Asda.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: contactless payments, mobile trends, near field communications, research, retail, technology

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