Smart Card Alliance Commissions Survey and Finds Contactless Payment a Quick Hit with Consumers

Smart Card Alliance Commissions Survey and Finds Contactless Payment a Quick Hit with Consumers

Smart Card Alliance Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, October 3, 2006–Like a great new undiscovered restaurant, contactless payment is a big hit with consumers who have tried it but still not well known, according to new research produced independently by Javelin Strategy & Research for the Smart Card Alliance. Javelin Founder and President James Van Dyke presented the survey results today to industry leaders gathered in San Diego for the annual Smart Card Alliance conference.

“The great majority of U.S. consumers are either ready to use contactless or have already begun to do so for payments,” said Van Dyke. “People view contactless as beneficial for speed at checkout and as a simpler way to pay for purchases. While security is a concern, a surprising four in ten actually view security as an advantage for these types of payments.”

Of the consumers surveyed, 13 percent have already used contactless payment, and 95 percent of that group said it was both easy and fast. Those consumers who have tried it were confident in the new payment technology as well–84 percent said it was as safe or safer than credit cards, and that they would use it for large purchases too.

The research also showed that contactless payment is an easy sell, once the information reaches the consumer. Of consumers who are yet-to-try contactless, 75 percent are somewhat likely or very likely to adopt it. Yet 62 percent of all respondents rated themselves as not familiar with the technology, demonstrating the industry has a big marketing opportunity in front of it. When consumers who said that they were unlikely to use contactless payments were asked what would hold them back, 61 percent of that group said security would be their biggest concern.

“Contactless payment is a winner with consumers, and the banking industry still has work to do to promote it, but it is a huge market and it is very early,” said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. “It is also clear that people want to be reassured about security, and the industry has good answers to their questions. The research shows there is a big need to communicate that contactless is available today and educate consumers about how it works and the security that has been baked into this new payment technology.”

The comprehensive study is based on a 3,135 respondent survey conducted online in August 2006 concerning consumer usage and attitudes around contactless payments. The survey targeted respondents based on representative proportions of gender, age and household income compared to the online consumer average. The entire survey has a margin of error of +/- 1.75 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level, while subsets of respondents have a larger margin of error.

Members of the Smart Card Alliance Contactless Payments Council sponsored the survey, including American Express Company, First Data Corporation, Gemalto, Giesecke and Devrient, Inside Contactless and ViVOtech.

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology. Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit