Contactless Challenge Day 10: Winter Wonderland

After ten triumphant days of the Gemalto Contactless Challenge 2012, our bloggers can now enjoy a well-earned rest.

Barcelona, despite being the spiritual home of Mobile World Congress for many years, didn’t quite offer Ewan the chance he needed to regain the lead he held in the early days of the challenge. Meanwhile, during day 10 in London, and with a healthy lead, Jon sought to use NFC payments wherever he went, totting up points along the way.

You might expect the host city of Mobile World Congress to have ample contactless payment terminals with which Ewan could interact in his battle to overcome the deficit, but despite his desire to find compatible NFC terminals, this hasn’t proved the case. Barcelona may be a little behind London in this respect, but initiatives such as Tap and Go, supported by the MWCapital and La Ciaxa, should see the city’s infrastructure given a huge boost.

Jon Choo, in contrast, has long made a habit of successfully completing multiple NFC challenges each day and he continued his rich vein of form in London, discovering that he could partake in a spot of Christmas shopping – a fitting last act of the challenge on a freezing day in wintry London. As you may have seen from our midnight post, Jon eventually finished the challenge on 227 points, ahead of Ewan on 153.

We’d like to express our thanks to everyone who got involved in the challenge and suggested ideas to Jon and Ewan along the way. Heartfelt thanks of course go to Jon and Ewan for all their enthusiasm and gusto for the duration of the challenge. We’ve very much enjoyed all their videos, photographs, blogs and tweets, and hope they enjoyed testing London (and Barcelona’s) NFC readiness for the aspiring mobile payment customer.

I think it’s fair to say we’ve all learnt a great deal about mobile NFC payments over the last ten days. When the payments come off successfully, Jon and Ewan’s delight at the ease and simplicity was palpable. However, we also saw occasions where payments weren’t offered, or the payments failed at the point of sale, causing frustration to our otherwise upbeat bloggers.

Retailers that have established, reliable terminals for mobile NFC effectively earned themselves some extra revenue during the challenge, with Pret A Manger and McDonald’s in particular enjoying repeat visits from our bloggers – hats off to these vendors for leading the way! Keep checking in on the blog over the next few days and weeks, where we’ll be discussing what we’ve all learned from the Gemalto Contactless Challenge 2012.

There’s much to discuss and debate, so if you’ve been following the challenge and want to share your thoughts as well, please do let us know. It’s clear that there’s still much that retailers, providers and customers can still do to promote ubiquitous mobile payments in the UK, but we firmly believe this is just the beginning.

It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to see so many people joining in the fun and here at Gemalto we’ve enjoyed the experience immensely. Oh, and Jon – news of your prize is on its way (don’t fret Ewan, there’s something for you too)!

The scores so far...

‘Invest’ in a box of treats
Ewan MacLeod
10/10

Jon Choo
10/10

Pick up lunch
Ewan MacLeod
10/10

Jon Choo
10/10

Get ‘a round’ in
Ewan MacLeod
1/20

Jon Choo
20/20

Send Gemalto a postcard
Ewan MacLeod
15/15

Jon Choo
15/15

Go entirely contactless for a day
Ewan MacLeod
50/50

Jon Choo
50/50

Take the boat
Ewan MacLeod
0/20

Jon Choo
20/20

Become a Museum of London expert
Ewan MacLeod
0/15

Jon Choo
15/15

Buy flowers for your partner using NFC
Ewan MacLeod
6/15

Jon Choo
15/15

Social suggestion from one of your followers
Ewan MacLeod
15/15

Jon Choo
10/15

Wildcard
Ewan MacLeod
23/50

Jon Choo
20/50

Pay for a hair cut
Ewan MacLeod
0/20

Jon Choo
1/20

Top up your phone credit
Ewan MacLeod
10/10

Jon Choo
10/10

Watch a film at the cinema
Ewan MacLeod
3/15

Jon Choo
7/15

Buy groceries
Ewan MacLeod
0/15

Jon Choo
15/15

Buy a burrito / wrap
Ewan MacLeod
0/10

Jon Choo
9/10

Buy contactlessly at a drive-thru
Ewan MacLeod
10/10

Jon Choo
0/10

Total Scores:

Ewan MacLeod scores 153 points

Jon Choo scores 227 points


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