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