In a time of extreme economic sensitivity I was surprised to read details of a Simon-Kucher research exercise which concluded that the average price consumer are willing to pay to load a prepaid NFC e-Wallet is around £3 and that 65% of the public are eagerly
awaiting this. Now I am not normally one to criticise research exercises but I am fairly confident that either the research was conducted in a fairly affluent area or the interviewees didn't understand the concept that they would be charged £3 every time
they wanted to load their payment instrument (which - if we consider normal prepaid loads are fairly low ticket values is quite a significant charge indeed, in proportion).
It will be interesting to see how these schemes transpire in the UK - I am eagerly awaiting O2's new offering which, if the marketing emails are anything to go by, should be announced in November this year.
Will Apples announcements tomorrow have any impact to this - tune in tomorrow to find out?
The Simon-Kucher research is detailed in this article on The Register http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/03/nfc_payments_survey/
I think you are right. Even the article doesn't believe the research. Noone will pay £3 to top up a NFC wallet with, say, £15-£20 of funds.
And I do not see why 'most users' will not accept a per transaction fee, although I accept that current practice is for the merchant to shoulder the fees, not the consumer (they just set the price to cover this, so the consumer is still paying really).
Someone has to pay the piper for the TopUp... if its from a bank account, there are charges. If its from a mobile operator billing account, there are costs too. The bank or MNO might be prepared to allow the TopUp operation for free if they know they are
getting a small (per txn) payment everytime those funds are spent. This involves the transaction processor calculating and then reporting who gets what and then the owner of the 'wallet' remits the various balances to the parties involved (e.g. to Starbucks,
to Barclaycard, to the bank or MNO). Obviously these remittances are aggregated and are not per txn.
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