For the past few months, I’ve been using my phone to pay for things.
I’ve been able to do this using Commonwealth Banks Kaching app, an NFC enabled case and my iPhone 4 to “tap to pay”.
The idea of NFC payments has always excited me, the first time paying was pretty satisfying. The idea that I don’t need to carry cash (or maybe even) a wallet means I can go on a run and not carry cash and tapping to pay is super fast (in theroy).
It’s widely belevived that NFC payments are the way of the future, often dubbed the “cashless society”.
But I’ve experieced quite a few teething problems, and in order to hit mass adoption, these must be overcome:
- Lack of NFC terminals – At the moment there are lots of NFC terminals to pay in the wild, but only 10-15% of the places I shop at actually have the ability to accept NFC tap to pay.
Solution: Time and roll out strategy
- Lack of software integration – Using Kaching means I need to fire up an app before I pay (and unlock my phone, and enter a pin). This is a pain and actually makes it slower than paying by card
Solution: Complete phone integration at the Operating System level. A phone should be able to be tapped without entering an app (with some security settings in place)
- Vendor fear and misunderstanding – When using NFC to pay, I’ve been questioned by vendors fearful that I had not actually paid them or unsure if the payment was successful.
Solution: Vendor education and training
- Lack of phones with inbuilt NFC – It was widely rumoured that the iPhone released last year would have NFC howver it did not. The NFC case is annoying and chunky. There are a few Android and Blackberries on the market with NFC inbuilt, but still a rarity.
Solution: Time and user demand
- User security fears – A number of people I have spoken to have concerns that NFC is an easy system to get scammed or have money stolen
Solution: Customer education and on-going security enhancements
By approaching the above issues with proactive solutions, I beleive NFC payments will begin to hit mass adoption in the next 3-5 years.