Conrad Harvey, the IT head of Australian supermarket chain Coles, says he is hesitant to go forward with a major NFC payments trial due to concerns over security, reports ZDNet Australia.
Speaking at a CEDA event in Sydney, Harvey said, “There’s an exciting opportunity in changing the way we can further interact with customers using NFC. We are going to become contactless in the near future, but I think one of the things we want to see is how the technology becomes more robust and secure.”
Coles put the idea of a contactless payments trial on the table earlier this spring after a successful pliot in its hardware business Bunnings Warehouse.
At the time Douglas Swansson, head of Payment Services for Coles, even expressed his support for NFC payments as a more secure method over cards:
“The security of NFC is better, because someone will report their phone stolen in 20 minutes, whereas people usually report their card stolen in around 2 days … that’s an advantage for us — that we can kill it over the air, making it more secure,” Swansson told ZDNet.
Harvey appears to share an enthusiasm for NFC technology, but has made his reservations clear:
“The last thing I want is my brand associated with a lack of trust. I think it is an exciting opportunity, and it will come. When it comes, we will want to be ready.”
“[Security is] one of the many things that keeps me awake at night,” Harvey added. “As we expand our internal universe into people’s devices and the external universe … how we keep those relationships private is important for all companies, especially ourselves.”
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