UK CONSUMERS WANT NFC ON THEIR MOBILES

The prospect of using your mobile phone to make purchases or pay for travel took a step forward today with the results from Europe’s largest trial of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology on a mobile phone revealing clear consumer demand for such services.

Nine out of ten triallists were happy using NFC technology on a mobile phone and 78% said they would be interested in using contactless services if available. Convenience, ease-of-use and the status of having such an innovative device were seen as the main benefits.

Interest in having Oyster on their mobile phones was particularly strong with 89% of triallists saying they were interested in taking this up. Over two-thirds of triallists also said that they would be interested in having the Barclaycard Visa payWave feature on their mobile in the future.

The O2 Wallet trial took place over six months between November 2007 and May 2008 and involved 500 triallists. It tested consumer demand for having cards you would normally carry in a wallet, such as Oyster and credit cards, available on a Nokia 6131 NFC mobile phone. To travel on London’s transport system or make purchases in retail stores, the user simply touched the phone against a reader. The trial involved a range of industry leaders including O2, Transport for London, Barclaycard, Visa Europe, TranSys, Nokia and AEG.

“Imagine going out for the night and only taking your mobile phone with you” said Claire Maslen, Head of NFC. “This trial takes us one step forward to achieving this by demonstrating that people want the convenience and practical benefits offered by services like the O2 Wallet.”

Oyster on Mobile

Having Oyster on their mobile phone actually increased triallists’ use of public transport. One in five (22%) triallists using Pay as You Go Oyster reported that they increased the number of journeys they made on public transport during the trial. Overall, almost 50,000 tube journeys took place using the O2 Wallet during the six month trial.

Other key findings around Oyster on mobile include:

· 67% said that they found it more convenient to use than a standard Oyster card.

· 87% said that availability of the service would be likely to influence their purchase of a new mobile phone.

Contactless Payments on Mobile

A selection of triallists were provided with the Barclaycard Visa payWave application on the Nokia 6131 NFC mobile phone and following the trial over two-thirds stated that they would be interested in using cashless payments on their mobile in the future. In addition, nearly half (47%) of triallists stated that being able to use their mobile to make payments would influence their choice of handset in the future.

Insights for future services

The trial provides crucial insights into helping O2 and its partners ensure that the customer experience is right before bringing the O2 Wallet to market:

· Choice of handsets is crucial – 85% of trialists felt that the make and model of the handset would influence their decision to take up NFC services

· User Interface – while the UI was popular, triallists wanted the ability to manage their accounts and view Oyster and Barclaycard balances through the application

· Security – while this was an important consideration, triallists wanted speed and convenience from using their mobile phone but could see the benefits of being asked for a PIN periodically to enhance security, similar to the contactless card experience today

Claire Maslen continued: “In theory, any card that you carry in your wallet could be on your mobile in the future. To make this a reality we need to work across industry with a shared vision of what commercial services will look like. To that end O2 will be proposing an industry task force with the aim of bringing together mobile operators, handset manufacturers and key players from the transport and finance sectors to form the foundations for commercial NFC on mobile services.”