NFC m-payments to become mainstream


NFC payments are set to exceed $180 billion worldwide by 2017

The NFC retail payments market will exceed $180 billion globally by 2017, more than a seven-fold increase over 2012, according to new research. The leading regions of North America, Western Europe and Far East and China will contribute 90% of this market value as smartphones with NFC payment technology become standard.

The report from Juniper Research found that 2011 was a watershed year for NFC payments. Major technology infrastructure standards were finalised, many mobile network operators committed to the market and NFC payment pilots from both mobile operators and financial institutions transitioned to commercial service. Above all, NFC-enabled smartphone models were announced by almost all handset manufacturers and Google ignited the market by launching its wallet in the US.

The report warned, however, that the market acceleration of 2011 revealed that some parts of the ecosystem unprepared for the future. In particular, retailers are less convinced of the benefits of NFC payments over existing card technologies and are unwilling to invest in contactless infrastructure so soon after the transition to chip and pin. Education and win-win propositions from other ecosystem players are necessary to make retailers as committed to this opportunity as themselves, said the report. Report co-author, Dr Windsor Holden, stated: 'This is a critical time for the NFC retail payments market. Despite the significant progress being made today, the full potential of the market can only be fulfilled if all ecosystem players are equally committed and mobile wallet consortia remain in place. Our report analyses the various consortia models being formed today and which types are expected to endure.'

More than one in four mobile users in the US and Western Europe will pay in-store using NFC by 2017.

The report suggests that mobile network operators can offset declining ARPU as they commit to NFC-based payment projects.


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