Over One in Three UK Smartphone Owners Ready for NFC Mobile Payments

June 5, 2015         By: Steven Anderson

While NFC-based mobile payments have been in place for some time, the willingness of the user base to pay by phone has been somewhat less than enthusiastic.

Security seems to be the biggest worry for many potential mobile payments users out there, and though other concerns factor in as well, that still seems to be an impediment for many.

But a new study from YouGov notes that of about 2,000 respondents, 38 percent of smartphone owners in the United Kingdom are willing to use near field communications (NFC) in mobile payments as a regular part of life.

Not surprisingly, the willingness to turn to NFC payments varies by age.

While only about a quarter—24 percent—of those 55 and older are ready for NFC payments, better than half, 55 percent, of 18-to-24-year-olds are willing to make NFC payments.

There was also a clear split along geographic boundaries, with 45 percent of Londoners prepared to use NFC, and just 27 percent of those in Wales.

There was also a distinction in gender lines, too; men were actually much more likely at 45 percent than women were at just 32 percent. Indeed, security proved to be the big stumbling block for the ladies, as 84 percent of those not interested said it was security concerns keeping them out of the action.

What’s more, 47 percent of all respondents had no interest in contactless payments at all. Thirty percent didn’t think such a system would be any kind of improvement, and 37 percent thought that the technology would prove a failure in the end. Even 18 percent thought that NFC would be of limited value thanks to the battery life of a phone involved.

It’s clear there’s reluctance involved in using NFC for contactless payments, but it seems like the reluctance is starting to phase out.

There are plenty of competitors out there in the mobile payments space, and plenty of interested customers ready to go.

There are also plenty of untapped customers as yet, and those that can reach that market first with the best, safest proposition may be a major player in the field thanks to the sheer size of that untapped market. The NFC payments field is no different, and we’ll likely be seeing a lot more users of such technology soon.