Sunday, December 9, 2012

NFC Payments Trial in London -some experiences

NFC is yet to become a mainstream technology option for payments, though interest remains high and, slowly but surely, an increasing number of points of sale are becoming NFC-compliant.

NFC chipmaker Gemalto recently conducted an NFC challenge, where they let loose two bloggers with a set of NFC challenges in London.

Here are their main conclusions/experiences:

  • Contactless is taking off! Both bloggers were able to survive for whole days at a time using only NFC, which would have been impossible even a year ago.
  • NFC has a strong urban bias: Contactless coffees and Coca-Colas are easy to come by in Central London, but the further from the city you get, the more difficult it is to use the technology. However, this is to be expected of any technology in its infancy.
  • Some vendors need educating on contactless as much as their customers. Occasionally, staff in stores that accepted NFC weren’t even aware of it.
  • There’s a real lack of signage around NFC. This means consumers may be missing out on the option to pay by contactless simply because they’re unaware their local sandwich shop accepts it, and a lot of people confuse the NFC logo with the symbol for WiFi.
  • There’s a lot of enthusiasm for NFC out there – the bloggers  saw thousands of tweets and plenty of challenges and advice from the Twittersphere.
If you’re interested in reading more about the project you can do so over at the Gemalto Blog or check out the video over on Mobile Industry Review. And who knows – next year the Contactless Challenge could be coming to a city near you!