Mobile and NFC payment technologies have been on the rise in recent years. But with many merchants and retail outlets still reluctant to invest in the new technologies, and with the rise of fraud in existing solutions, industry participants are divided over how and whether the technology will ever gain widespread acceptance in developed markets.
NFC technology advocates face continued disappointment in 2013 as it is likely to be overshadowed by other developments in retail payments, according to a report by financial research firm Celent.
For many years, near-field communications (NFC) technology has been touted as the next big thing; an opportunity for operator to get themselves into the payment space. However, the technology is yet to take off outside of select markets and now faces continued disappointment in 2013, when it is likely to be overshadowed by other developments in retail payments, according to a new report by financial research firm Celent.
South Korean operator group KT Korea has purchased 500,000 NFC-LTE SIMs in a bid to stimulate adoption of contactless payment services among its user base. The operator said that the SIM will enable its customers to use their smartphones to pay for transit fares or to retail products at 200,000 contactless terminals.
Google has improved the integration of its mobile wallet application with online retailers in a bid to stimulate mobile financial transactions. From this week, on sites that accept Google Wallet, users will no longer need to enter their credit or debit card number, billing address or other payment information.
Last week I attended the GSMA’s NFC & Mobile Money Summit in Milan to take the pulse of what’s been happening in the mobile contactless payments space over the past year.
In an attempt to ignite take up of its m-wallet offering, Google has launched a cloud-based version of its wallet for its US users. As a result, users can now add Visa, American Express and Discover credit and debit cards, as well as MasterCard, to their wallet.
The NFC retail payments market will be worth more than $180bn globally by 2017, marking a seven-fold increase over the value of the market in 2012, according to Juniper Research. The firm said that that the North America, Western Europe and Far East regions will contribute 90 per cent of this market value, as smartphones with NFC payment technology become standard in those markets.
German operator Deutsche Telekom has signed a European partnership deal with payment provider MasterCard to enable consumers to use their mobile phones as an electronic wallet.
French incumbent Orange has begun offering NFC-enabled SIM cards nationwide in preparation for what it calls the “mass deployment” of mobile contactless services. The UpTeq NFC SIM cards are supplied by Gemalto and, the firms said, are the first SIMs on the market to offer the same security level as chip-based payment or smart cards.
SIM-based NFC remains the holy grail of mobile payment for cellular operators. The NFC community has its sights set far wider than simple mobile financial services, but it is taking time for the technology to get to market.
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Orange’s director of contactless services has admitted concerns that near-field communication (NFC) technology may never gain mainstream acceptance if businesses do not utilise it to provide compelling services for consumers.
Charles Walton, GM & EVP for Mobile NFC at Inside Secure, talks to telecoms.com about secure authentication in the M2M and person to person worlds, as well as security in the payments sector including using NFC as a transaction technology.
A survey carried out at MWC by mobile commerce and messaging specialist Sybase 365 has found that 81 per cent of mobile industry executives believe that NFC will not emerge as a driver for mass adoption of mobile payment services for another two to five years. Less than ten per cent of delegates polled said they believed that NFC payments would become mainstream in the next year.