Near field communication (NFC) technology allows secure data to be transmitted from a device or object to exchange information or even conduct electronic transactions with a tap. The technology is already embedded in many chip credit cards, and mobile phone providers are moving to roll out handsets which are NFC enabled, allowing users to pay with the tap of a mobile phone. (For more information, refer to our previous Wayfinding Forum posts, ‘Mobile cashless payments by card and phone’, and ‘Google Wallet’s potential effect on parking industry infrastructure’).
Technology site ARN recently polled global mobile industry experts to find that eighty one percent expect that NFC technology will be widely used and adopted for mobile payments in two to five years time. Of these executives, 38 per cent believe consumer concern over security of personal financial information exchanged during mobile transactions is the leading obstacle to large-scale adoption of mobile payments.
They are not wrong, according to UK media site The Drum, which claims that research conducted by VoucherCodes.co.uk has found that most consumers don’t know about NFC technology, and 60% would avoid paying for goods and servies via their mobile even if they were able. A further 17% were interested in the technology but worry about how it works.