Report: NFC Payments Growing, App Downloads Slowing

Nov. 25, 2013

Results of a new survey on overall mobile use by consumers has several ramifications for payments using mobile devices. The report, from global management consultancy Deloitte, found the number of consumers who said their device is NFC-equipped more than doubled from 2012 to 2013. More importantly perhaps, for a technology many observers have pronounced dead and buried, of those whose devices are equipped with NFC technology, more than one-third said they have made a contactless payment using their phone in the past month.

The report also found that the number of app downloads decreased 13 percent this year in the U.S. and even more in other countries (36 percent in Brazil, 17 percent in Argentina and 14 percent in Mexico). Per-app spending also decreased during the year, but the report’s authors still believe the outlook for apps is positive.

“The good news is, we see a lot of potential remaining in the apps market space over the long term,” said Craig Wigginton, vice chairman and U.S. telecommunications sector leader for Deloitte. “We believe that the overall declines indicated in this year’s survey may be due to increasing sophistication among consumers. It is likely that they have already obtained the core apps they prefer for work and play, with those choices persisting over time as they upgrade and change their devices.”