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Most consumers remain unfamiliar with contactless technology, which enables them to pay by tapping payment cards containing radio-frequency identification chips near a sensor on point-of-sale terminals, new survey findings suggest. Only 3% of respondents were familiar with contactless technology, and 23% would not use contactless cards because of identity-theft concerns, according to Auriemma Consulting Group Inc., which conducted the survey of 508 credit card users in the first quarter. Respondents, however, generally became interested in contactless cards once they learned more about them, which points to the need for a consumer-education campaign, according to the Westbury, N.Y.-based consultancy. After reading an explanatory paragraph about contactless payments, consumers became seven times more likely to want a contactless card than before they saw the description, according to the company. Additionally, 63% of respondents stated after reading the description they would use a contactless card more than a standard credit card because it is a new technology, and 67% said they would use a contactless card more because of its ease of use. "Our research shows that most consumers simply don't know what contactless technology is, what the benefits are, and/or how and why they should use it," says Megan Bramlette, Auriemma managing associate. "We think that card companies have been focusing on emphasizing the 'cool' factor of the technology."

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