Contact-Free: the backdrop to Payments, Ticketing & Identity in 2021

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It’s that time of year again: where’s it’s traditional to take stock and look to the future. At Consult Hyperion, we do that through our ‘Live 5’ process; where we look at major trends in business, technology and consumer attitudes and project them onto our areas of business focus, with twists of our own. This is more than a marketing exercise. It informs our advisory services, but also sets our own strategy, for example by determining what technologies are investigated, and protypes built, by our Hyperlab unit.

Contactless trajectory

[Dave Birch] It looks as if the roll-out of contactless payment cards is not going as well as the industry had hoped. Our good friends at CPP commissioned a survey and found out that

two thirds (77 percent) of respondents are worried about card fraud, as no PIN is required for contactless purchases below £10. Other concerns include a fear of increased crime levels (48 percent) and of criminals hacking into personal details (34 percent).

[From ePaynews.com – the payment news and resource Center]

So people are scared of using contactless cards because of fraud, retailers are surcharging to cut down use and terminals are not good enough. What with one thing and another, it’s a surprise to discover that there are any contactless retail transactions in London at all. Is it therefore reasonable for James van Dyke to say that

I’m coming around on contactless.

[From Javelin Strategy and Research » Coming Around on Contactless]

I’m genuinely wondering. But is this the usual post-hype dip or has contactless just taken too long to move into the marketplace? I’ve heard more and more people — on the issuing side — talk about skipping over contactless cards completely and just moving directly to phones of one form or another, either NFC phones or phones with NFC stickers on them. The argument is, essentially, that it’s hard to deliver enough added-value to compete with the cash just using a card whereas a phone can be a platform for more services for the both the payments and retail sectors.


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