Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Gemalto NFC Contactless Challenge: Day Eight

After a week of almost using contactless exclusively as part of the #GemaltoNFC Contactless Challenge, I am comfortably leading Ewan 194-152. Ewan has jetted off to Barcelona, where he will be testing GSMA's favourite mobile city's NFC infrastructure. As for me, I am continuing my quest to uncover more shops that features contactless. Despite leading Ewan, I know he isn't one to give up easily. So do hit me up with more contactless challenges!
Monday was a fairly quiet affair as far as contactless went. Boots was my first port of call where I collected a bunch of photographs and developed film negatives (yes we still use those!). The pictures turned out okay (expired film, plastic lens and all), but it was the reaction of the cashier which was priceless. "I am an old lady, you won't see me ever using those! I am happy I could send texts and make phone calls!" was the reply when I implied NFC was the future!

Stopping at Marks & Spencers to grab dinner only revealed that the machines has decided to fail once again! These were the same self service terminals that threw up a hissy fit on Thursday before working again on Saturday. No matter what I did, how I tapped  and prodded the terminal, the machine would simply not accept payment and complained about the existence of 'two devices', before forcing my QuickTap app to exit.
Giving up, I headed to Slug & Lettuce instead where the half price Monday deal ensured the bill came in well below the £20 limit. It was the first time the bartender has seen a phone being used to pay, though like her colleague on Saturday, she has seen plenty of contactless cards used at the bar. Bartenders certainly appreciate any amount of time saved processing payments, even in seconds, that contactless brings in comparison to traditional chip and pin.

As we enter the final half week of this experiment, I have learned a few things about this new payment technology. While I am convinced by contactless payment, ditch your wallet would be premature. Contactless has a long way to go, even in built-up areas of London. Reliability is perhaps a bigger issue here. I have encountered more failures in my one week using contactless than an entire decade of using chip and pin, and can easily impact the public's perception of the technology.

1 comment:

Vysia said...

The closest I've ever come to contactless is paying by my starbucks app on my iPhone. Might try it out actually