Despite a lot of hype and a fairly strong push from manufacturers, it’s likely to be another four years before mobile contactless payments using near field communications (NFC) become mainstream, according to an article in Reuters. “When the 20 percent level is reached it starts to feed itself. That is the critical point,” Jukka Suikkanen, R&D manager at top Nordic telecom operator TeliaSonera told an industry seminar in Helsinki…two research firms (Strategy Analytics and ABI Research) have forecast that level of penetration will hit in 2012.
ABI thinks 6.5 million NFC-phones will be sold this year, a 10-fold increase over 2007 but still a tiny percentage of the overall handset market. Meanwhile, Strategy Analytics opined that the slow take-off “is attributed to the slow ecosystem build-out, a half-hearted effort, at best, even though there is visible progress in overcoming the technical and standardization challenges”.