Just 35% of UK adults aware of NFC payment technology, says YouGov report


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

December 5, 2013 | 2 min read

The public’s lack of awareness and trust in near field communication (NFC) payment technology is preventing its adoption, according to a new YouGov report which shows just 35 per cent of UK adults are aware of NFC-enabled devices.

The study of 1,051 adults also found that fewer than one in ten (9 per cent) mobile and smartphone owners know that their device is NFC-enabled, and of these just over a fifth (22 per cent) ever use it to make payments.

Overall, the figures show there has barely been an increased in awareness and adoption since YouGov last looked into the area in September 2012.

Looking at why the uptake has been slow, YouGov found that 56 per cent of mobile phone owners are not interested in NFC-enabled technology while 53 per cent are concerned about their financial exposure if their phone was lost or stolen.

Moreover, given general contentment with using ‘Chip and PIN’, almost four in ten (39 per cent) say they do not see a need for the technology.

“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,” explained John Gilbert, consulting director YouGov Technology and Telecoms.

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 per cent to 70 per cent and acknowledged ownership increased from 16 per cent to 25 per cent.

However, use of contactless payment cards was more limited with only 40 per cent of 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 per cent) wanting more places that accepted contactless card payments.

YouGov questioned the nationally representative sample between 17 and 22 September 2013.


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