LONDON/HAMBURG: There is a widespread lack of consumer awareness about NFC payment technology which is preventing its adoption, but mobile payments are gaining ground globally, according to two new reports.

A YouGov survey of 1,051 adults in the UK found that only 9% of mobile and smartphone owners knew if their device was NFC-enabled, and of these just 22% ever used it to make payments.

Just over half (56%) weren't at all interested in it, while 39% didn't see the need for it, being perfectly happy with existing 'chip and PIN' technology. Another factor was trust, as 53% expressed concern about financial exposure if their phone was lost or stolen.

"The industry has yet to increase the awareness or put forth a compelling value proposition to the consumer to adopt NFC payments," John Gilbert, consulting director YouGov Technology and Telecoms, told The Drum. "In addition, retail adoption is rather limited curbing the consumers' desire to transition," he added.

A separate report, Global Mobile Payment Methods 2013, from research company, also noted that NFC adoption was slower than had been expected and revised its forecasts downwards, although it also said growth would pick up after 2016.

It highlighted the potential in France where it pointed out that several millions of NFC-capable mobile devices were in use and over 100,000 retail stores had NFC terminals by September 2013. Spain too was developing, with several players launching mobile payment solutions, including NFC payments at POS.

Past issues of Admap have noted how, as NFC prevalence increases, opportunities for marketers will grow. For example, shoppers with NFC-enabled devices could receive relevant offers as they walk into a store or pass by an item on a shelf.

The report was more optimistic about the market for mobile payments, indicating that while these were used by less than a quarter of mobile internet users surveyed in 2013, almost one third of those not using mobile payments planned to do so in 2014.

Mobile payments were forecast to reach over €150bn worldwide in 2013, with strong double-digit growth predicted for the next four years. Mobile banking payments will remain the dominant practice although non-banking payments are projected to grow at a faster rate.

Data sourced from The Drum,; additional content by Warc staff