China is on the verge of a mobile commerce explosion, according to a new study from ABI Research. The technology market intelligence firm released a report yesterday showing that China could surpass $8 billion in mobile payments by 2014. This would put the nation far ahead of others in terms of contactless payments. The rapid growth of NFC-driven commerce may be due to the single-minded pursuit of NFC technology in China.
The progress toward electronic transactions has been slow in the West. Several companies, including Google and Nokia, have been pouring resources into developing NFC-enable mobile devices and payment platforms, but their efforts have been met with lukewarm acceptance. Banks and other financial entities have been slow to warm to the prospect of mobile commerce due to the massive effort required to get mobile payments off the ground. Given the initial cost of manufacturing and distributing NFC terminals to facilitate mobile payments, banks are disinclined to take up the effort.
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Meanwhile, China’s swelling mobile payment industry is attracting investors who cannot ignore an opportunity when they see one. Even the Chinese government has thrown its support behind mobile commerce, believing that NFC technology will provide a benefit to Chinese citizens. The government is currently involved in a project that seeks to bridge the gap between traditional commerce and mobile commerce.
ABI Research’s report can be found via the firm’s website.