Feeds

Bonking payment by NFC doubled by Olympics splash

Slapcash getting some traction ... not with iPhone fans

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

As an Olympics sponsor Visa used the London games to highlight pay-by-bonk technology, successfully doubling the number of contactless payments across the UK while taking a fifth of the transactions within the park.

In the ten weeks leading up to the games the number of bonked payments doubled, hitting six times last year's total for the period of the games themselves, demonstrating that punters will use NFC if they know about it. Visa isn't sharing the overall value passed over NFC connections, but at NFC World Congress the company did reveal some comparisons and growth rates, as reported by NFC World.

Not that the majority of users were willing, or able, to tap a card on the counter. Even in the Olympic venues only 20 per cent of payments under £20 were made with a bonk, four out of five customers still slotted their card and entered their PIN in the traditional way despite the surrounding advertising.

Visa reckons that's in line with the proportion of cards equipped with NFC, denoted by the little radiating logo. The fact that payments at the Horse Guards venue hit 25 per cent shows just how popular the technology is, apparently:

The higher on-site transaction figure demonstrates consumer enthusiasm for using the technology when it is made easily available.

Last month Barclaycard announced it was processing a million contactless payments a month, which would seem to mesh with Visa's figures for a process with which users are getting more comfortable. Neither company breaks out the proportion of payments made using a phone (or a sticker in the case of Barclaycard) but it's safe to assume that traditional cards make up the overwhelming majority.

Visa did say that the 700 or so Galaxy SIII handsets it issued to athletes and journalists got heavy use, averaging fifteen transactions each, but the novelty (and the pre-loaded credit) probably accounted for most of that. Then if iPhone 5 sales are as huge as seems probable (the iPhone has no NFC) smartphone adoption won't become massive for a good while yet.

Nonetheless the industry firmly believes that the only thing preventing the use of contactless payments is lack of familiarity with the process, which can be addressed through advertising. Assuming they're right, the retailers will save money on cash handling and the customers can save time typing in their PINs: and (most importantly) the payment processors like Visa can start clawing back some of those savings in their transaction fees. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.