Mobile payments using NFC to reach $100bn by 2016

22 October 2012

The value of near field communication (NFC) mobile payments will be worth more than $100bn by 2016, says ABI Research, accelerating to $191bn in 2017.

The US technology market research firm is confident that the increase in NFC mobile payments from the present $4bn figure will happen despite the fact that Apple did not include NFC functionality in its latest iPhone 5 smartphone or its attendant iOS6 updated mobile operating system.

The convergence between different payment types, whether it is peer-to-peer (P2P), mobile contactless payments (MCP) or loyalty scheme ‘payments’ via m-commerce applications in shops will all help to drive the market in future years, says ABI Research, although of course not all these applications will necessarily rely on NFC chips, with some bridging technologies likely to be around for some time to come.

Nevertheless, ABI believes that transportation and ticketing mobile NFC apps will be the first market to benefit from the increasing mobile handset convergence, with 26% of all NFC handsets forecast to house a contactless ticketing application by 2017, it says. “Transport authorities will have the ability to offer additional added value services, including route planners, delay bulletins, time tables, as well as retail and loyalty, or advertising applications offering own brand or partnering/local business a platform to offer additional solutions to generate new revenue streams,” said ABI research analyst, Phil Sealy, although he did admit that market convergence is at least two years away from reality.

In Sealy's opinion Apple, which currently promotes its Passbook mobile payment software as an alternative option on the iOS6 software, will have to address NFC sooner rather than later.

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