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2012: The Year of NFC

  • By Timothy Roberts
  • Wednesday, December 19, 2012

As we wrap up 2012, it’s natural to start reflecting back on the year that was, and in looking at mobile technology, NFC was a significant force in the market this past year. NFC wasn’t new this year, but it definitely burst in the mainstream. It is estimated that there will be 300 million NFC-enabled smartphones by 2014, which means this opportunity will continue to grow rapidly. What we’ve seen in 2012 is really just the beginning.

A recent article on the Mobile Entertainment web site does a good job of sharing just some of the successes of NFC this past year in social media, data gathering, mobile gaming, contactless payment and transport. Of course, here at Mobile Money transactions, we are most excited about the possibilities for contactless payment as mobile phones may eventually replace credit or debit cards helping to speed customer transaction time. All the big players in the market are moving to seize upon the possibilities of NFC and with strong motivations — a November 2012 Markets & Markets study pegged the total NFC applications at a value of $10015.96 by 2016.

2013 should be interesting as more players enter the market and NFC becomes more mainstream. I hope that 2013 is the year where NFC is defined as something other than Not for Commerce.

Looking ahead, 2013 will see the coming of age in the telecom corridors being used for purely mobile remittance payments whereas now mobile remittances are largely still using the traditional methods. I am also expecting we’ll see the launch of independent cloud wallet infrastructures by major mobile network operators transforming these traditional giants into full-fledged payment service providers. Should be an interesting year to come.