NFC may be a hindrance to mobile commerce
Mobile commerce is becoming much more than a passing trend. Companies both large and small are beginning to invest heavily into mobile commerce, considering this emerging sector to be the next evolutionary step for commerce as a whole. This belief is being backed by hordes of consumers participating in mobile commerce, many of whom are citing convenience as their reason for abandoning traditional forms of commerce. There is a problem that could serve to derail the future of mobile commerce, however. As is becoming increasingly common, this problem seems to involve NFC technology.
Lack of awareness curbs enthusiasm in mobile commerce
NFC is currently considered to be one of the pillars of mobile commerce. The technology facilitates payments made from a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. In terms of business, NFC has been met with either resounding support or dubious caution, the latter of which is due to the security issues that surround the technology. Consumers, however, either do not know that NFC technology exists, or know that it exists only for marketing or other interactive purposes. Lack of awareness concerning NFC technology could potentially serve as a roadblock for the future of mobile commerce.
Low availability of NFC-enabled devices makes it difficult to participate in mobile commerce
Awareness is low largely because the availability on NFC-enabled devices is small. Few such devices are currently available on the market, and there is not a great deal of variety among those that are available. Without these devices, spreading awareness of mobile commerce has been a difficult task as businesses can tell consumers that they can pay for products using their mobile device, but few can actually do so. More importantly, there is a lack of a comprehensive ecosystem for NFC-based mobile payments, a problem that could make such payments little more than a concept.
NFC may be a thing of the past
Without NFC-enabled mobile devices and an appropriate infrastructure for physical, NFC-based payments, mobile commerce is likely to be faced with a significant challenge. Overcoming this challenge may mean the abandonment of NFC, leaving the technology to the field of marketing and entertainment. Already several companies, like PayPal and Visa, are working on alternatives to NFC technology that could make mobile commerce much more accessible to a wider range of consumers.