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Survey shows consumers still in the dark about NFC and mobile payments

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A recent UK survey of 2000 mobile phone users commissioned by Opinion Matters on behalf of Gemalto, a digital security company, found that only 32% of consumers know what NFC stands for, and a large number expressed security concerns about using a mobile wallet. This highlights the gap between consumer perception and the reality of the secure nature of mobile contactless payment technologies.

When asked if they have ever used or would use their phone as a mobile wallet, 34% of respondents said they didn’t or wouldn’t due to security concerns, 31% weren’t aware they could even do it and almost a quarter (24%) said they didn’t trust it as they didn’t fully understand how it works.

The research results show a clear need for further consumer education to dispel the myths surrounding mobile payments using NFC. Similarly to when ATMs, chip-and-PIN and e-commerce were introduced, consumers will need to build trust and become accustomed to mobile NFC by using the technology to learn how it works.

“The reality is that mobile NFC payments are extremely safe and users have complete control over the value of payments made on their handsets,” says Nassir Ghrous, head of mobile communications, Gemalto UK and Ireland. “The value of mobile NFC transforms the handset into a ‘mobile wallet’ where consumers can store credit cards, gift cards, loyalty cards, transport tickets and mobile coupons all securely in one place. Providing unparalleled convenience for the user, it also enables businesses to add additional services and ultimately increases sales.”

The mobile NFC research results highlight how consumers require more education about the security of mobile NFC payments, which is as secure as other payment systems currently in use.

However, despite concerns, 35% of respondents were positive about using mobile NFC services if they knew it was completely secure. As with much of Europe, the mobile contactless payments trend is gaining pace in the UK. Once consumers become more aware that their payment credentials are secure, they will become accustomed to the new method of mobile NFC payment and quickly realise the benefits, leading to increased usage.

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