NFC Forum reports surge in worldwide use of contactless NFC technology

CONFIDENCE: The survey shows that consumers are much more familiar —and satisfied — with NFC

More than eight in ten consumers have used “an NFC contactless card or mobile payment wallet” (85%) and contactless payment card usage has increased by 30% over the past two years, according to a survey of consumers in nine countries around the world that has been conducted for the NFC Forum.

The survey —  conducted by ABI Research on behalf of the NFC Forum — also shows that the use of mobile wallets has “grown considerably” with Apple Pay and Samsung Pay recording “impressive usage growth” and increases in uptake of 37% and 35%, respectively.

When asked whether they have ever used “the NFC contactless technology in your smartphone or smartwatch for any of the following”, 95% of respondents said they have used some form of “contactless technology” for paying for a product, 48% for public transport fare payments, 38% for consumer product interaction, 15% for vehicle access, 14% for venue access, 13% for home or office access, 11% for appliance control, 10% for headphone/speaker pairing and 8% to tap posters or restaurant menus.

Respondents also expressed “high user satisfaction levels, safety and security confidence and improved familiarity with NFC”, with more than nine in ten respondents saying they are “at least somewhat familiar with NFC technology” (95%), according to the survey.

Overall, the increase in the use of NFC technology since 2020 has been “fuelled by NFC’s contactless capability and concerns around the Covid-19 pandemic, along with the continued growth in wearables, smartwatch and mobile phone users”, the researchers say.

Key driver

The survey also identifies the use of contactless ticketing on public transportation as a key driver of growth.

“Not only was usage up, with nearly half of consumers using NFC nearly every day, but also that half prefer using their phone or watch over a contactless card. We expect digital wallet adoption to surge as NFC innovation continues to grow in the automotive and access control markets as a convenient, safe and secure alternative to contactless cards,” the NFC Forum’s executive director Mike McCamon says.

“As increased NFC usage with devices, wearables, cards or other items not traditionally NFC-enabled continues to grow in volume, consumers will look for the NFC wayfinding mark on products to show them where to tap for the best connectivity.” 

The NFC Forum unveiled the Wayfinding Mark as a global identifier for NFC tapping locations in November 2021.

The Consumer Attitudes, Experiences and Understanding of NFC Technology survey was conducted with 2,620 adult consumers in the USA, China, Japan, South Korea, the UK, Spain, France, Germany and Italy.

The NFC Forum and ABI Research previously reported on consumer attitudes and NFC adoption trends globally in October 2020.

NFC Forum reports surge in worldwide use of contactless NFC technology was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.