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NFC Technology Becomes a Consideration for UK Phone Shoppers

More consumers say they’re likely to use contactless payments

May 17, 2013 | Retail & Ecommerce

Mobile payment technology is becoming a feature bearing on phone purchases for some UK consumers, as the technology becomes more widely known and accepted. Media buying firm Kinetic found in April 2013 that 10% of total UK internet users surveyed said that near field communication (NFC) technology would be an important feature factoring into their next phone purchase. That figure rose to 16% for 18- to 24-year-olds.

Features that UK Internet Users Think Are Important for Their Next Phone Purchase, by Age, April 2013 (% of respondents)

Consumers’ overall comfort with new payment technology seems to be going up. Eleven percent of UK internet users said they were already comfortable with mobile wallets, and another 13% were comfortable with tapping to pay by phone. But the percentages of those who were uncomfortable with the two technologies were over 60% each—so there is certainly plenty more education to be done in the country, especially to address any privacy issues consumers might have.

Still, more than two out of 10 UK internet users said they were likely to use contactless payment technology in 2013, and 11% of respondents said they had already done so.

Attitudes of UK Internet Users Toward Mobile Banking and Contactless Payment, April 2013 (% of respondents)

In April, Yankee Group forecast that UK mobile NFC users would reach 336,000 this year, still a small figure. But by next year, the number of users would approach 1 million, for a growth rate of 171%.

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