Consumers like the convenience and ease of making transactions with their mobile phones, according to a new usability study of near field communication (NFC) and contactless payment technology released by Royal Philips Electronics and Visa International.
NFC facilitates secure, short-range communication between electronic devices, such as mobile phones, computers and payments terminals via a wireless connection. Using a NFC-enabled mobile phone, participants in the usability study conducted transactions in several different scenarios.
Visa says consumers found it easy, convenient and fast to make contactless payment using the mobile phone. Users enjoyed downloading content from NFC "smart" posters.
Gaylon Howe, EVP, consumer product platforms, Visa International, says the study demonstrated that consumers react positively to contactless payments with mobile devices.
"The study provides a strong validation for Visa as we continue to drive acceptance for contactless technology, which will be critical for widespread uptake of mobile payments," says Howe.
Visa said in February that it is road-testing its new mobile payments technology on mobile phones in Atlanta's Philips Arena. The NFC trial allows sports fans to use their hand sets to buy goods at concession stands and stores and to access and download mobile content such as ringtones, wallpapers and screensavers by holding their NFC-enabled phone in front of a poster embedded with an NFC tag.
In a separate move MasterCard has teamed with Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient to launch a full-scale over-the-air (OTA) secure personalisation payment system for mobile phone-based payments.
MasterCard says the system, which was developed and managed by G&D can activate its PayPass contactless payment application in the mobile phone securely and eliminates the need to "manually" personalise mobile handsets individually.
Customers wanting to enable PayPass with their phone make a one-time request to their bank to register them for the service. Data is sent over the carrier network and automatically loads and activates the PayPass application in the mobile phone while personalising the phone's built-in "secure area" with the customers' payment account details. The OTA infrastructure can also be used to upload additional applications to the handset, as well as manage and modify user information, says MasterCard.
Pilot projects of the OTA platform are expected to begin shortly, beginning in the US. First implementations of the G&D system will use NFC-enabled Nokia 3220 handsets.
Richard Fletcher, group head, mobile/wireless centre of excellence, MasterCard, says: "MasterCard views mobile phone-based payments as an exciting new channel, as studies confirm that consumers increasingly prefer using mobile phones for many everyday activities."