NFC – What’s the view on the street?

It’s official. NFC is here; but how many people know it? We commissioned Opinion Matters to carry out research that highlights the need for consumer education on NFC – or to put it correctly: Near Field Communication, as only 32% of consumers know what NFC actually stands for. Alongside statistics that reveal over one third of respondents worry about using a mobile wallet for security reasons, 46% of people surveyed were concerned that users would run up huge bills if their NFC phone was solen.

To put these concerns to rest, let’s look at some of the facts surrounding NFC payment. As with anything, fear stems from lack of experience and lack of knowledge – especially true when we’re talking about people’s money! The concept of consumers storing gift cards, loyalty cards, transport tickets and mobile coupons on their smartphones is rapidly spreading around the world, so why do we fear the bank card?

Much like Chip & PIN banking cards, about which many consumers had reservations when they first appeared, NFC SIM cards storing consumer payment credentials are certified according to security standards defined by financial services authorities (like Visa and MasterCard). This ensures they are at least as secure as our credit cards. Furthermore, with secure over-the-air technology, payments can be immediately blocked remotely, while the ability to combine numerous different cards or accounts on one device means that all of these can be cancelled in one foul swoop if the device is lost, rather than having to contact each card issuer individually. This coupled with the ability to attach a PIN code to authenticate transactions, provides users with control like never before.

Ultimately, having your credit card stored on something ‘intelligent’ is every bit as secure as the plastic we are familiar with. It also opens up a whole world of possibilities for consumers to do more with their wallet, such as using coupon applications, loyalty schemes or travel passes, all with the same security credentials one would expect from a bank or card issuer. As technology advances, there is absolutely no reason why fear should hold us back when it comes to our finances. The security is there – time for consumers to put their faith in NFC.

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