The psychological attachment to physical cash seems to be waning. Coins and notes are dirty, and often inconvenient. It has been necessary to use mobile phones to pay for parking in some places for a while now. According to a recent survey by the polling organisation YouGov, the appetite for using mobile phones to pay in a variety of settings is growing.
An astonishing 1 in 4 British consumers are interested in using their phone to pay for goods as an alternative to cash and cards. As many as 1 in 10 believe that they are likely to be on board when 'wave and pay' technology goes live. This is in spite of concerns that there may be technical issues with the new service.
The use of so-called Near Field Communications or NFC to make payments is expected to be trialled in a variety of settings over the next few years. There is confusion amongst consumers as to whether their current handsets will be compatible with the systems, 36% have no idea whether their phone would be capable of making payments.
As to the perceived benefits of NFC payments, the front runner is convenience. A total of 87% of those polled gave convenience in paying as a reason they would be adopting the technology. Speed of pay payment was seen as something that could be improved by NFC. A similar number believe that it would be easier than carrying cards and cash.
Of those that pan to pay with NFC devices 29% are optimistic that it could help them keep track of their money better. This has been the motivation behind the massive take up of mobile banking in recent times, but some of the same concerns apply to the new technology. Concerns over security and fraud would be an issue for 56% of consumers.