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back to article World+dog yawn over NFC smartphone shopping

Although the technorati may be salivating over the brave new tap-to-buy smartphone world, a new survey has discovered that only one in five smartphone owners could give a rat's patootie about "mobile wallets". "Unfortunately for mobile wallet providers," concludes a study by the shopping site Retrevo, "the overwhelming majority …

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FAIL

Title

I wish all that stuff would go away.

Fair enough on a bank card but I don't see any advantage in having NFC payments on a phone.

What might be good is the ability to have a smart card which can combine several credit/debit cards in one. But actually maybe that's just as rubbish as having it on your phone.

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Anonymous Coward

No.

Single point of failure. As someone who recently had their only (accessible with cash machines/chip & pin) a bank card commit suicide for no apparent reason making eating, fuelling and well, everything nigh on impossible for the most part of a week*. I can say it's a terrible idea.

*my local bank doesn't offer a counter service, it's really just a desk surrounded by robots for depositing / withdrawing cash.

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Unbelievable.

How can 21% of people say that they don't know what it is, when one of the options is "Yes, I want to be able to pay for things in the store with my cell phone"?

Funny survey, the amusement definitely peaking on that massive iPod fanboi spike in the second graph.

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Unhappy

nfc

er,that is exactly what folk said about sms about 20 years ago,or is it as usual fat lazy yanks dont care ?,took em ten years to catch up with rest of world on that one.

dont you just yanks,still think they run the planet,if only they were half as smart as they think they are we might not all be up to our neks in doo doo..

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And this

Is what happens when you make the internet affordable for all.

See? Progress is not always good.

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Paris Hilton

Indeed

It's like I just went through a time warp back to when WebTV was big.

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Mushroom

Could be...

.... useful,, but like a new version of widows I probably wont even consider it until service pack 2.

Icon because it will all end in tears.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm sure fanbois will become tumescent...

... about NFC if it comes to the Iphone, and I can see it may reduce overheads for shops at cashing up time. But I can't see how, as a user it makes things much easier than just getting a fiver/tenner/however much from my wallet and handing it over.

Even chip and pin isn't that much of an arse once you have the hang of it.

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Mushroom

Tumescent? Hardly!

There are still people who will stand in the queue at the counter, brains on idle, shuffling forward drone-like, only to remember the existance of paper money *after* they've been told exactly how much their current purchases will cost them - and out comes the wallet (or purse, then wallet), then cash. This slack-mindedness is a significant contributor to the very fact of queues at check-outs: everyone else is waiting for the one dummy currently warming up - again - to the concept of having cash in hand to pay cash for cash purchases they're making...

Not many of those waiting, however, clue in to the idea that having the cash in hand even as you plunk down your shopping plunder will actually make the tedium of paying for things at a cash register that bit quicker... for everyone.

NFC will eventually be the principle means for cashing out, yes, but it will a bit of a slog to switch over. Those who lack the patience for mouth-breathing humans (who reach for their wallets only on a signal) will be first to swoop on the opportunity NFC provides. Fanbois, probably - because they generally have an above-average intelligence.

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WTF?

hmm

Wouldn't the people who get their wallet/purse out after they've been asked for money just wait to be asked for money before getting their phone out?

I still don't understand how NFC is better/more secure than chip+PIN

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@Glyn2

>I still don't understand how NFC is better/more secure than chip+PIN

Simple. It isn't.

But it does relieve banks of refunding the first £50 of fraud, so they are keen on it.

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What happens...

when you have more than one NFC card in a real wallet and wave it at a machine? Or, if you have several virtual cards on your phone? You still presumably, have to select one before waving... or are they so good they can read your mind too? Or can you only have one card?

One more thing... how long until some genius creates a reader that can fit into a backpack and wanders around a packed shopping mall at Christmas, taking a fiver from thousands of people who wouldn't notice it gone, amongst all the other transactions? By the time someone realised, the money would be in Lagos.

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Nuff Said

Quote "what must be considered as the understatement of the week: "Mobile wallet providers will likely have to address consumer's concerns about security."

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Avoid NFC..

.. please do. The elephant in the room is that NFC cards are only readable so close to a reader because the transceiver in the reader is rubbish. If you use a good transceiver and a decent aerial you can read these cards comfortably from more than 10 meters away.

Not my idea of a safe approach to payment, especially since the amounts are capped at a level that most people will skip when looking for abuse on their bill.

As a matter of fact, that cap should have told you immediately that something smelly was hiding in the cupboard: have you *ever* heard of a credit card company voluntarily limiting its ability to get you into more debt? Exactly...

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Stop

FRO

There are two reasons this idea is going round:

* Banks want to offload fraudulent transactions back onto us

* Retailers want to get us off the premesis faster.

There are loads of good reasons for avoiding it, just as you describe.

Imagine some scrote on a crowded commuter train, harvesting 4.99 from each of half-a-thousand people, with something in his coat pocket. Then doing it to the again when they head off home.

Have some sense, Mr & Mrs Britain, and tell the banks to FRO.

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Its a magnetic coupling not RF

I know everyoopne calls them RF tags or cards but NFC and contactless smartcards work by magnetic couplings (like a transformer) not by radio waves. This why you can read them from a few cms away but not 10 metres.

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Angel

sardines

You're that packed in on the train in rushhour that a few cms is all you need. Not to mention on the platform/escalator/ticket queue

One of these in your pocket/backpack and even £20 a trip would make an NFC ripper a sound financial investment. It's pay for a 1/4 of the ticket price for a start :P

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Oh how we chuckled

>Android-phone owners don't appear to have all that positive an opinion of Apple

...and in other news ursine faeces have been discovered in wooded areas.

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Mushroom

Oh how we chuckled

>Android-phone owners don't appear to have all that positive an opinion of Apple

....because they don't understand how secure an iPhone can be compared to their leaky, virus infested grey plastic thing they call a smartphone.

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Tough sell

"But few of the 1,000 smartphone users surveyed in the Retrevo "Pulse" study seem to care."

Of the smartphone owners I know, about half are colleagues in IT. The majority of the other half have a smartphone only because they were offered one as part of a contract upgrade and use their phones to make calls, send/receive texts and maybe, take photos. These folk neither know nor care about NFC payment.

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Mushroom

Let me..

.. take a more informed view. I know what it is, and why they want to foist it on us, and I want none of it.

There.

Begone, spawn of satan

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Coat

mcdo 's

In Milan has just installed NFC terminals, not seen anyone use them yet. There's a free expresso or 4 chicken nuggets available should anyone dare to try. MITM will probably also be quite rare. Yes I do happen to have a 13Mhz USRP and frame antenna in my pocket....

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Headmaster

Expresso?

Italians are coming to kill you in your sleep.

The drink is called ESPRESSO.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Expresso?

Christ, I don't care as much about misspellings as you, YR, and it's my job to care.

I doubt Italians give much of a fuck about someone on the Reg getting some coffee wrong.

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Silver badge

Wrong?

It was called Expresso in the UK for most of the 50s & 60s, when we had coffee bars.

For some reason we reverted to the Italian spelling when it became popular again.

I'm told the french spell it with an X, but I am not fool enough to drink french coffee.

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Happy

Hi Ms Bee

Good to hear from you today!

Sorry, it may seem pedantic, but it's a pet peeve of mine.

The Italians invented it - got to give credit to them for that.

The important thing to remember is it's so called because it's made using PRESSurised steam, rather than having anything to do with speedy trains...

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Hi Ms Bee

Hey, I'm a pedant, it's just that you're like a one-man PEDANT WAR.

But I understand.

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Paris Hilton

Market Research

Did anyone bother to ask consumers if they wanted NFC before going out and creating it???

I'd imainge most people's response would be "No thanks, if/when I leave my phone in the pub I don't want to wake up next morning with an empty bank account"

Paris Hilton for NFC - because she's the only one stupid enough to use it.

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FAIL

Reinventing fire

I already have a mobile wallet. I call it my wallet and it's quite mobile

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Pirate

If my next phone comes with this

I will need to make sure that it is completely disabled and contains absolutely *NO* information. I do not want it to have my bank details, name, address or the size of favourite body part.

When the first phones with bluetooth came out, they broadcasted everything all the time. Things improved and smartphones now have it disabled until you tell it otherwise and then it just does its stuff for a short while and then turns itself off.

Assuming that works as intended, that leaves it potentially useful with less possibility of problems.

When NFC hits the streets, it will be hacked. Various scumbags will take money from the unsuspecting. People will loose anything from pennies to their entire bank balances.

We know this. It is what happens with new stuff. This one is an even bigger target. It makes the phone into a travelling cash dispenser and the banks will doubtless have decided that any loss is the customers fault. I will carry on using cash wherever possible.

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Boffin

So many people don't get this

So many lame comments around the idea of planning to steal money via a backpack mounted scanner or the 'advantages' of cash in wallet.

If you plan on skimming 'money' from NFC phones, then you might want to stop and think about what the hell you are saying. You are not stealing money, just sets of data bits - assuming you have valid merchant codes of course.

Good luck on spending those bits - depending on scheme implementation, there is generally a reconcilation process that takes place overnight as part of a settlement process so that the cash you spent on topping up your phone or when you pay your phone account is actually passed to the merchant. Generally people who look after cash and payments take it pretty seriously if they see any potential holes or flaws, so contactless smartcards have been around a long time now without anybody actually seriously exploiting them at least compared with the about of cash that gets stolen in any given day.

People not seeing the point probably don't see the pain points in areas like mass transport or sports events where you need to get hundreds or thousands of people very quickly through choke points and bloody oldtimers dicking around with coins and notes are a pain to everybody. Not to mention the hassle of parking meters/vending machines/coffee vendors etc for people like myself who rarely carry cash.

Yes, you have to deal with issues like multiple competing card formats, but right now I have 3 or 4 contactless cards on me. I would guess that most people do these days even if they are not aware of it, but how many people know what is stored on those cards?

I would rather that instead of people issuing more smartcards to me, they simply talked to my phone and used the smartcard in that. Means that I can check balances and transactions with a decent screen, can have more control - i.e maybe set it to play a 'ca-ching' sound everytime a transaction is made - things that existing smartcards can't do (and cash won't warn you of pick pockets either). If I lose my phone, I could remote wipe/disable (with the bonus of setting of alarms if somebody attempts to use the phone).

And yes.. I have worked in this area in the past, so most of the comments above do strike me as being from people who don't have a clue what they are writing about.

That being said, I think it needs critical mass from somebody like Visa/Mastercard/Apple to make NFC useful; it has to become ubiquitous, built into all new phones and payment terminals to really displace other forms of payment.

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@GrantB

From the terms you are using, I figured before you called it out that you are actually in the industry. I have been watching the major players jockeying for position over the secure element for a couple of years now. It is an interesting drama unfolding, but I agree with you: security is less concerning so far. Though it could be improved.

What you did not elaborate on to the hordes of backpack intercept comments and the man in the middle fearful, is that a traditional payment will not be a wave and it's done. There will be a handshake of sorts, meaning the phone owner will have to accept the payment to the vendor on the screen. That could mean tapping an OK or typing in a quick code for any purchases over a threshold. Implementations are all theoretical at this point I suppose.

Folks, as far as the backpack idea? Aside from the lack of an OK or PIN code entry on the phone that permits access to the secure element (which in turn authorizes the payment,) obviously some commenters don't understand velocity...perchance? In fraud detection, there is something called velocity. I recommend to those reading to look it up. There will not be too many players that are going to be able to really pull NFC off, so my bet is Visa/Mastercard (Visa owns a leading player in fraud detection btw) Assuming an exploit could be devised (or shall I say when) then the velocity of the transactions being paid to a single vendor would draw attention very rapidly. Considering the checks that are required to get a credit card merchant account: a new vendor + 1000 fast transactions? Really.

For the curious I recommend having a good research session on how the transactions take place, and what security measures are already in place. A decent starting point would be the IEEE and the OMTP.

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WTF?

Loosing your mob is already a major league pain in the arse and.......

...........and now they want to ensure that if the worst happens you are left *completely* bare-arse, loosing your wallet at the same time. As to the security implications, they do not even bare thinking about.

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Paris Hilton

Loosing (sic) your "mob"

At least if my phone ends up down the back of the couch I can call it and see where the rings are coming from.

Can't do that with a wallet.

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Joke

Where do you get off

Calling my phone and wallet "loose".

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Thumb Up

Topping up your oyster card?

How about using it to top up your oyster card saldo so you can travel for free? It's quite easy actually, since they use a Mifare Classic, which has really terrible security.

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Spiffing

So what happens when your phone runs out of juice? We all know smartphones can only just last a day of usage...

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Useful research . . .

. . . that proves there's no fanboi like an Apple fanboi.

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Happy

you said "fanboi"

so whatever your argument was - you lost :)

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@maserlin

Nope. He got you to reply so by the rules of the game *we're* all playing, he won.

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Meh

Cash is king

Once I pull it out of the hole in the wall nobody knows where or on what it gets spent. Nobody is able to use those transactions to build a profile or target advertising. Small points perhaps, but they make my experience of life slightly less irritating.

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Cards in wallet vs cards on phone?

I think I will prefer cards on phone. To me it would be better to leave cards in wallet (the wallet will have a foil lining to prevent accidental / malicious use of cards that live in there).

On the phone I will be able to configure a default card, check recent transactions and balance on-screen. It would be trivial to have a button that you hold down to make a payment - this would guard against making payments when I did not intend to.

I am looking forward to waiting less at the bar and in the queue at the local shop.

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Mushroom

Barclaycard rollercoaster advert

So Barclaycard have revised their advert with the rollercoaster that defies the laws of physics so that it now shows Mr. Window-Peeping Yank using his phone to make contactless payments.

Great, you would think. Except for the fact that the advert shows the Samsung Galaxy S II with NFC (model i9110) which is not yet available in the UK.

There seem to be plenty of non-NFC (i9100) in the supply chain which I presume retailers will want to get rid of first. I have spoken to several major suppliers and they all confirm that they do not have the NFC version and have no idea when it will land.

Th Internet is awash with "news articles" from May proclaiming that this handset will be coming to the UK "in June". Well, it's pretty much the end of June; it's advertised on national television; I am ready to hand over this large wad of cash; where is the phone Samsung?

If anyone knows where one can actually be bought in the UK, I would be eternally grateful for the info...

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Alert

Bad Methodology

[I just posted this comment over at the Retrevo site; however I suspect they won't publish it...]

Dear Retrevo,

Please could you publish the details of your methodology? This will allow people to look for biases etc. I'd particularly like to see the questions as they were presented to the user.

I'm also very suspicious of your first question. If you asked the question exactly as shown in your graph, then you've got a problem. The answers you offered don't match the question you asked. The question was "Are you WAITING for NFC on the next phone you buy". A quite reasonable answer to that would be "No, I'd prefer a phone with NFC but I'm not going to delay my phone purchase to wait for it". But that doesn't fit into your multiple-choice answers. I suspect that will bias your results. The respondent has the choice of "No, I'm not interested in a phone with a mobile wallet" or "Yes, I want to be able to pay in the store with my cellphone".

Additionally, your first question offers the response "I don't know what NFC or a mobile wallet is", yet the other answer in the same question explains what it is - "I want to be able to pay in the store with my cellphone".

It really looks like all 3 possible answers to the first question were chosen to be headline-grabbing - so it really didn't matter which one came top, you were going to get news coverage either way. And it looks like headline-grabbing was more important to you than good research.

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The cult speaks

So 61% of apple customers would trust apple to provide credit card like functionality, but only 34% would trust a bank?

Says something right?

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Stop

Re: The cult speaks

Apple and Google have a clue about all this tech stuff. My bank doesn't.

Now, ideally you want a company that knows about the tech, AND knows about looking after people's money. Since that doesn't exist, you have to pick one or the other. I'd rather have tech that's reliable and easy to use. If I lose the money that was in my mobile wallet, it's not that big a deal - I'm not planning to have more than £50 in there anyway. (Obviously, my bank has a lot more money in it, so I wouldn't trust Apple or Google with my current account or savings account). I trust my phone manufacturer with money anyway - a dodgy phone could easily run up £50 in phone bills.

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Pint

How long until..

... It gets horribly hacked and people leave nfc readers all over to take money.

Screw this, chip + pin is just fine. Who wants to get their expensive smartphone and wave it around every time you want to buy something anyway?

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@ Piro

Before bleating like other earlier sheep, you may want to make some effort to understand the subject. And maybe read the other comments above, you could find useful information.

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Devil

its gonna get crammed down our throats one way or another, they all love tollbooths

Truth is, if suddenly I can't pay for certain things anymore unless i got an nfc wallet, I'd probably adopt it. Think of the subway in Korea, you can't ride it if you don't have an NFC device to pay it.

But would you EVER trust a Telco with that, after years of them condoning and not acting against a multitude of ripoffs afflicting their "valued" customers?

The most obvious scams with phone numbers and dubious subscriptions, they'd never do anything against, cause they got a percentage of each transaction! (I don't know about the UK, but this is how it worked in the U.S.)

So yeah, I'm not surprised people would trust Google and Apple more.

Googe just keeps giving me free stuff and has never charged me a dime nor let me run into someone else's trap, while purposely looking the other way like Telcos have done.

Apple, ugh I guess people trust the shiny logo... but if I look at their business practices over the last 20 years, I'd be scared... "what, you used your NFC wallet at temperatures below zero, and your balance went zip? Not our fault, our devices are only designed to work above zero degrees, so your warranty is void and your cash got vaporized - so sorry"

(if you don't remember the incident i was referring to, Apple refused to repair someone's iPhone who had used it in a sub zero winter climate. i guess New Yorkers take serious chances with their phones every year if they go outside.)

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Joke

trust ... mobile ... wallet

pick any two

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