NFC Consumer Attitudes, Experiences, and Understanding Survey: The 5 Key Takeaways and What This Means for Technology Developer Strategies

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By Phil Sealy | 2Q 2024 | IN-7333

This ABI Insight highlights the top 5 key findings from ABI Research’s latest 2024 Consumer Attitudes, Experiences and Understanding of NFC Technology Survey. Alongside outlining the most salient takeaways is also analysis of what the results mean for the market, highlighting the key areas Near Field Communication (NFC) technology developers should be aware of, prioritize, and focus on.

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New Survey Results Demostrate Evolving End-User Attitudes, Experiences, and Technology Understanding


Over the past 5 years, ABI Research and the NFC Forum have been working together on a Near Field Communication (NFC) Consumer Attitudes, Experiences, and Understanding Survey. The 2024 release marks the third iteration of the survey, which has allowed ABI Research and NFC Forum members to track how NFC attitudes, experiences, and understanding have evolved over the 5-year period. This ongoing survey process is arming NFC Forum members with actionable insight from which future development strategies can be tailored. This ABI Insight highlights the 5 key survey takeaways, complemented by some analysis of what this means for the broader NFC technology/developer ecosystem.

What Are the Top 5 Key Survey Takeaways?


The overall goal of the survey was to try and build a better understanding of consumer adoption, experiences, and familiarity with contactless and NFC technology, at both the global and regional levels. In addition, this latest survey added several new questions around the growing reliance on mobile wallets, tap-to-pay smartphone payments, perceptions of NFC compared to other payment solutions such as cash and QR codes, non-payment mobile wallet applications, the importance of different NFC use cases, NFC wireless charging perceptions, and the most requested items for future NFC innovation. In total, there were 15 questions asked of more than 2,600 respondents across 9 countries, including the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany, and Italy. In summary, ABI Research considers these to be the top 5 survey takeaways:

  • Contactless has flipped from a card-first to a digital-first user experience: 55% of respondents prefer to use their phone or watch to pay over a card. Two years ago, this was 47%.
  • When compared to QR codes, contactless cards, and cash, NFC contactless mobile and watch payments were rated the most secure, most convenient, most reliable, and most easy to use form of payment.
  • Daily use of contactless grew drastically from 15% in 2022. For contactless cards, this is now around 30% and for smartphones, it’s 27%, which is nearly double that compared to the previous survey.
  • Consumers are becoming more reliant on digital wallets—95% of respondents have left their physical wallet or purse at home in favor of taking a mobile payment at least once.
  • When looking at the "future innovations" of NFC, multi-purpose tap and support for sustainability features rated the highest.

What Does This Mean?


  • Payment cards remain the most popular solution; however, there is a clear shift to digital approaches via NFC mobile and smartwatch payment wallets.
  • Alternative payment wallets are growing in popularity, beyond Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, driven by successful localized platforms such as We Chat Pay.
  • There is a paradigm shift as it relates to security, convenience, reliability, and ease of use in favor of mobile payment wallets. This further reinforces the shift to digital approaches.
  • People are using their mobile payment platforms more often, with daily usage significantly increasing with greater reliance on contactless.
  • Familiarity and understanding of NFC technology continues to grow, which aligns with increased adoption, new applications, and higher usage.
  • Customer satisfaction in payment-related applications is extremely high and this needs to be replicated within other emerging NFC mobile wallet applications. Mobile payments should be the benchmark against which new applications are measured.
  • End users are becoming less reliant on physical wallets. The strong desire for multiple tap functionality to combine payments and other applications such as loyalty schemes, discount codes, and receipts will enable users to be even less reliant on physical solutions over time.
  • Mobile wallets are more than just NFC  and although NFC is the foundational technology, other technologies (e.g., QR codes, barcodes, and one-time passcodes) are now becoming increasingly complementary. The perception of mobile wallets is now more closely tied to security or secure storage of credentials, rather than a specific contactless technology, which can enable multiple use cases beyond payments.
  • Sustainability is a key consideration for many consumers, and there is a broader desire for integrating NFC into more products for additional product information. Combining these two will be very compelling in accelerating wider NFC usage and tag adoption.
  • End users are willing to leave cash or physical wallets at home, meaning NFC is becoming fundamental in enabling various daily activities. This aligns with the need for multi-application support and enabling additional mobile wallet use cases. For example, users can now leave physical driver’s licenses, IDs, house keys, train tickets, coupons, and concert tickets behind thanks to digitization. This shift from physical to digital wallets will continue to accelerate in the coming years as scale increases.

This ABI Insight provides a high-level executive summary of some of the key survey stats, results, and takeaways. For more in-depth information, please watch the public webinar that can be located on via this link:



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