‘Contactless’ mobile payments systems are slow to take of in the UK but is poor marketing communication to blame? 

Orange Quick Tap

Orange Quick Tap

According to the latest research from YouGov’s Mobile Wallet tracking study, only 36% of the UK are aware of ‘contactless’ technology in mobiles, this drops to just 12% when it comes to awareness of NFC (Near Field Communications).

These figures come after the launch of several services in this space including Barclay’s Pingit, Orange Quick Tap and O2 Wallet. Clearly their marketing of this technology didn’t have the desired effect.

Only 12% of the UK population plan to adopt mobile payment technology over the next two years, security being the main barrier.

Whilst ‘convenience’ and ‘speed’ remain the top reason’s for considering NFC, marketers may still need to consider offering an incentive to consumers to entice them to use the technology.

However confusion still remains as to who’s responsibility it is to push the technology, is it the bank? mobile phone manufacturer? retailers?

As John Gilbert, Consulting Director for YouGov’s Technology and Telecoms sector comments: “The market is saying: “speed and convenience is all well and good, but it has to be secure. Besides, what’s in it for me?” Furthermore, there appears to be some confusion as to which “pillar” of the industry will take charge – handset manufacturers? banks? mobile operators? retailers? Until issues of security and standardisation of practices and technology are resolved, future adoption will continue to stall.”

In fact I was at a restaurant the other day, it was only until the cashier made the payment for me that I realised; one, that I had a ‘contactless’ bank card and two, that this restaurant actually accepted ‘contactless’ payment.

And I consider myself quite ‘tech savvy’.

Gilbert continued: “Perhaps the Olympic Games in London this summer will boost awareness and demand for contactless payments. This premise will be measured by YouGov over the next few months.”

Will the Olympics boost awareness of ‘contactless’ payment technology?

Sandeep Vadgama

Sandeep Vadgama


Editor at Fourth Source and Tech Enthusiast!