EAST Poll indicates consumer confidence in NFC payment transactions

Respondents to an online poll run by EAST from September to December 2020 indicated that they were either ‘completely satisfied’ (67%) or ‘satisfied’ (33%) that their payment details are safe when making an NFC payment transaction using a smartphone.

The current number of smartphone users in the world today is 3.5 billion, which means 44.81% of the world’s population owns a smartphone.

Banks and retailers are using the facility to reach their customers and see smartphones as an opportunity to make the consumer payment experience a convenient and seamless one.

Consumers can use Near-Field-Communication (NFC) technology on their smartphone to make contactless payments in stores and to pay for goods and services using in-app payment tools. During the Covid-19 pandemic the limit for a contactless transaction has been lifted in many countries and now averages €50 across the European area.

In making payments easier to manage and more accessible for consumers, there is an underlying risk that access to that information is also made easier for the criminal element, aiming to capture the payment data used by unsuspecting consumers.

While the industry continues to build solutions and barriers to this criminal activity the EAST Payment Task Force (PTF) is examining consumer behaviour and focussing on the security of smartphones used to make NFC payments for goods and services.  On 5th January 2021 an EAST Payment Alert was issued – it covers social engineering used to get financial institution clients to install software that is infected with the Anubis malware on their smartphone.  EAST Alerts and Reports are available to EAST Members.