The iPhone 5 and confidence in NFC: the chicken or the egg?

The iPhone 5 and confidence in NFC: the chicken or the egg?A new survey in the US has revealed that two out of every three people prefer the notion of traditional cash-and-card money to the digital “mobile wallet” scenario promised by NFC.

The results make for interesting reading given one of the few surprises to emerge from an otherwise predictable Apple iPhone 5 launch through the week: the absence of NFC support on board Apple's latest iTreat.

The CreditDonkey survey spoke to 1,200 US consumers, nearly 70% of whom were smartphone users. Overall, 68% responded in the negative when asked “would you like to replace the cash you carry with a mobile wallet”?

The results have been interpreted as vindication of Apple's decision to once again side-step NFC on the iPhone (this isn't the first time the wireless payment tech has been tipped as a likely inclusion on a new iPhone).

The reason for consumer reluctance to embrace mobile wallet technology? The obvious one – security. The same survey revealed that 62% felt their wallet was more secure than their phone, and it's safe to assume significant overlap between the two figures.

However, one interesting figure is that of the original 1,200-odd who were questioned, a full 47.8% said they had never actually used their phones for shopping. In other words, the percentage of people who felt the notion of the mobile wallet was unsafe based on having actually tried it out was quite small.

NFC's biggest problem right now is that it's not new tech at all, and with no single driving force behind its roll-out the technology has become a mess of different standards, implementations and services.

That's not so say an NFC-enabled iPhone 5 would have fixed those issues – in fact, there's every chance Apple would have gone the ring-fenced walled garden approach given the security fears surrounding mobile transactions, effectively only adding to the confusion.

But based on surveys like this (and we can't imagine the same survey in the UK would produce widely varying results), it's clear that trust is the primary stumbling block, and a company like Apple embracing the technology would at least go some way to fixing that.

Via PC Advisor

Read more about: iOSApple iPhone 5

Add a comment
9 comments

Pondlife  Sep. 16, 2012 at 16:44

Seems odd that over 50% of people will have used their phones for shopping.
1200 people too dumb to avoid a survey from US population as a whole is pretty trifling.
Apple are more hung up on passbook atm anyway, ties people in more if they can't use it elsewhere

barrybarryk  Sep. 16, 2012 at 17:10

Wait, when did NFC become the same as 'replacing your cash'? It has lots more useful applications than just cash transfer 'apps'.

I'm guessing the 50% that have "used their phone for shopping" are including people just ordering stuff through 'apps' and websites

Pondlife  Sep. 16, 2012 at 17:13

If not worded well enough it could include people calling through catalogue orders..

Opheliac  Sep. 16, 2012 at 20:46

http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46173/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-anti-iphone-5-ad-full-size.jpg

/game over.

Rubisco  Sep. 16, 2012 at 22:54

Taking a card out of my wallet and sticking in a PIN isn't that much of a drag for me. I don't run around like a headless chicken making dozens of real world microtransactions every day so it's probably taken up more of my time reading people waffle on about it than it will ever save me at the till. It's not that I consider NFC unsafe it's just that I simply couldn't care less about it. It's boring.

CTPAHHIK  Sep. 17, 2012 at 08:50

Pinless and contactless credit cards has been around for a few years. And surprise, surprise there are readers for them. Why would I need a phone for this?

Stelph  Sep. 17, 2012 at 10:14

Wait, when did NFC become the same as 'replacing your cash'? It has lots more useful applications than just cash transfer 'apps'.

I'm guessing the 50% that have "used their phone for shopping" are including people just ordering stuff through 'apps' and websites


I agree, I hate the idea of NFC being used to buy items but I think that NFC has a great future in smartphones.

For example quick and easy and low powered transfer of information/phone set ups/tasks (i.e. confirming a wifi network password, activating and connecting bluetooth to do an auto download and backup of the phone). The NFC could also be a way of using your credit card to pay for items over the phone (just place the card on the phone)

I really hate that people seem to only look at NFC and say "uh, I dont want to swipe my phone to pay so NFC is useless", it has so many more potential uses

CTPAHHIK  Sep. 17, 2012 at 10:38

Good point, Stelph. However, we already have Bluetooth. What happened to it? It was locked down from day one to prevent any transfer of information.

dcx_badass  Sep. 17, 2012 at 17:21

Bluetooth can transfer information on everything but the iphone.

NFC has many great uses for automation, eg have a tag by your bed to turn the ring on silent and turn your alarms on, have one by your front door so as you come in you swipe your phone and it turns off bluetooth and turns on wifi (could block work calls as well). More than just paying.

Email:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.

Comment: