13 Jun 2012
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Vodafone NFC trial gets thumbs-up from customers

By Mike Borgfeldt

Participants in a trial of Near Field Communications (NFC) contactless payment technology have roundly approved of the technology, citing convenience and speed as the main benefits.

A joint project between Vodafone, BNZ, Visa and Paymark, the four-month trial saw 44 participants given special NFC mobile phones with Visa chips integrated into the SIM cards.

Participants were able to pay for purchases at two inner city cafes in Auckland and Wellington, which had been fitted with special payment acceptance terminals.

A survey of participants at the conclusion of the trial showed 100% of respondents reporting a positive experience with the service, and 97% saying they would use the service if it launched in the future, with the remaining 3% undecided.

62% of respondents expected the service to be free, while just 14% were willing to pay up to $3 per month. 85% approved of limiting PIN-less transactions to $80 or less.

Steve Rieger, general manager, business development for Vodafone, says advances in technology and infrastructure mean contactless payment is now ready for widespread adoption.

"As more and more smartphones come onto the market with NFC capability, we are getting ever closer to a future where New Zealanders can leave their wallet at home for good and live life on their smartphone,” Rieger says.

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