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Once They Use It, Consumers Favor NFC Over QR Codes, NFC Forum Survey Says
February 13, 2015

By Kevin Woodward

More consumers are satisfied using near-field communications (NFC) technology with their smart phones than express the same satisfaction using Quick Response codes, finds a survey by Strategy Analytics Inc., a Boston-based consulting firm.



In the survey, commissioned by NFC advocate group NFC Forum, 76% of consumers said they were satisfied with using NFC compared with 53% who were using Quick Response codes, which are a form of barcode.

Part of the reason for the difference may be that consumers don’t have to open an NFC-enabled app to use it. Once the NFC-equipped smart phone is near a compatible device, such as an NFC-equipped payment terminal, the app awakes and is ready for use. With QR codes, the consumer must open and activate the phone’s screen, find and open the app, and then scan the bar code.

The NFC Forum points to the success of Apple Pay, and that consumers added more than 1 million credit cards to Apple Pay accounts within 72 hours of its launch, as further evidence of support for the contactless technology.

The implications of this for the payments industry revolve around hardware and services, says Matthew Bright, NFC Forum retail special interest group chairman.

“Many of the consumers in the study had not previously experienced NFC in a retail environment, but after experiencing NFC in the context of the study, those same consumers were very excited to use NFC again,” Bright tells Digital Transactions News in an email. “The payments and POS industry can and should design hardware to complement these types of non-payment NFC applications at the point of sale by enabling digital loyalty programs, digital receipts, and more.”


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