Mobile commerce is gaining momentum in Australia, according to The Commonwealth Bank, the country’s largest financial institution. The bank announced this week that mobile payments have more than quadrupled in the last year, logging more than 1.3 million transactions during December alone. The bank notes that the availability of NFC applications has also risen by 30,000 over the same time period. This indicates that mobile commerce may be gaining ground with consumers in Australia, but research firm Telsyte claims that the concept is not very popular with merchants.
Mobile commerce refers to consumers making purchases through the use of their smart phones using NFC technology. The concept is similar to using a credit card, but NFC technology enables users to make purchases without having to make contact to a physical terminal. The use of NFC technology is meant to streamline transactions, making commerce more intuitive to a generation of tech-savvy consumers. Telsyte claims that the technology is not very popular amongst businesses; however, due to potential problems with security and them not knowing if the technology is worthwhile.
According to Telsyte, some companies are concerned that NFC enabled terminals would be a costly addition to their business. Additionally, NFC payments are, essentially, credit card transactions and are subject to various fees. Some merchants are worried that the additional fees will make NFC transaction unpopular, despite the hype surrounding mobile commerce today. These concerns are compounded by issues with security, which have yet to be resolved by any organization designing NFC payment systems.