MOBILE CONTACTLESS PAYMENTS: EXPANDING ACCEPTANCE IS KEY

Resolving merchant acceptance issues may be the key to mobile contactless payments taking off in a big way, according to a recent survey by SYNERGISTICS Research entitled, Revolution in Payment Choice at the Point of Sale.  Currently, actual usage of mobile contactless payments is reported by one in six Internet households.  To identify potential barriers to adoption of this new payment option, these users of mobile contactless payments were asked if they have had any of a number of experiences or problems when using this payment method at the point of sale.  Most widely indicated is simply finding there are a limited number of places where mobile contactless payments can be used.  This is followed by being uncertain whether mobile contactless payments are accepted at particular merchants or locations because of a lack of signage or other information.  Other experiences include mobile contactless payments not being accepted or not working at locations that are supposed to accept it, not being able to use the payment method desired, and errors in transactions – such as purchases being posted multiple times.  Overall, two-thirds of the users identified at least one of these problems.

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Genie M. Driskill, COO of SYNERGISTICS, stated, “The introduction of any new payment technology is prone to have a number of ‘bumps in the road’ as it is rolled out.  Mobile contactless payments is not an exception, and all players involved should be very focused on addressing customers’ issues.  A bad experience with a mobile phone provider, financial institution, or merchant when making a significant purchase may result in a damaged or even lost relationship.  The top issue — a lack of locations — is, of course, a function of a growing infrastructure that should be satisfactorily addressed over time.  Indeed, the more recent introduction of Samsung Pay has the potential to dramatically impact the current environment for mobile payments.  Chase Pay and Capital One Wallet are two other recent additions available to consumers.  However, it should be a cause of some concern – and attention – for providers that some users are experiencing problems with a lack of information or signage about merchant acceptance, as well as finding a lack of acceptance in supposedly valid locations.”

These are among the findings from SYNERGISTICS study, Revolution in Payment Choice at the Point of Sale, featuring online interviews with 1,000 consumers age 18 or older.  This study examines consumer payment behavior at the point of sale.  Current usage of various payment methods and consumer reaction to innovative payment options and technology are assessed.