NFC Mobile Payment - A Fad or the Future?

By Agnes De Franco Professor and Distinguised Chair at C.N. Hilton College, University of Houston | December 27, 2015

Co-authored by Cristian Morosan PhD, assistant professor, C.N. Hilton College, University of Houston

The hot topic of late has been on how to engage guests through their mobile devices, and thus hopefully establishing a new group of loyal customers. Beyond engagement, we decided to take it a step further, looking into how much they use mobile media as a payment tool. Since mobile payments are used in the retail market already, what do our hotel guests have to say about mobile payments in hotels? Do they use mobile payments now? Will they use mobile payment methods to settle hotel payments? What about buying that cup of coffee at the coffee bar or the souvenir t-shirt at the gift shop?

To take a closer look, we conducted a survey of 794 hotel guests, and the number, type, and brand of mobile devices they brought with them to our hotels during their stays. Over 700 of the respondents reported that they carried at least one device with them at their hotel stay, with 67 percent carrying only one device, 28 percent with two devices, 4 percent with three and 1 percent with four devices.

Within the study we also focused on the guests' experience in using NFC mobile payments in terms of performance, effort, habit and fun factors, and facilitating conditions. In addition, the guests' perceptions of privacy and security of NFC mobile payments are discussed. Finally, a list of hotel products and services that guests deem appropriate to use NFC for payments and also the guests' intentions to use NFC technology in the future when paying for these products and services are presented.

NFC Mobile Payments

NFC mobile payment technology is gaining ground for two major reasons. First, new models of smartphones and smart watches are now built with the convenience of payment processing. For example, a wait-staff in a restaurant does not need to take a guest's credit card back to a terminal to process a payment as NFC allows the guests to simply wave their smart watches or smart phones that are set up with mobile pay near a portable processing device to complete the process. NFC is simple and convenient. If one does not have the right change or the right currency to buy something when he or she is traveling, no problem. If your device is set up for mobile payment using NFC, you are set to go.

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