NFC technology may never lead the way in mobile wallets

NFC Technology mobile commerce

Forrester Research has predicted that this will not be the tech that powers smartphone payments.

An analyst from Forrester Research spoke at the Mobile Shopping Fall Summit and has explained that she believes that it is not likely that NFC technology will ever lead the way in powering the mobile wallet ecosystem.

During the speech that was made by the analyst, she described a number of the benefits of the efforts from the biggest players

The senior analyst, Denee Carrington, of Forrester Research said that while she does understand the appeal and the draw that is created by NFC technology, it is not her opinion that this will ever be the primary route for mobile payments in the United States. She explained that “I am not bullish on NFC in the U.S.”.

NFC Technology mobile commerceCarrington explained that there are a number of reasons that she’s not betting on NFC technology in the U.S.

She started off by saying that when it comes to NFC technology, it does have considerable potential for being adopted at some point into the future, but at the same time, she simply does not believe that this will be the case in terms of its use for payments. Carrington also went on to add that “I think there are challenges with our payment ecosystem that will prevent adoption,” and that the requirement continues to be that it must be turned on, and that the technology be present within the devices held by the consumers.

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Within her presentation, Carrington also pointed out that there are many hurdles in the way of the adoption of NFC technology. Although a number of the largest mobile wallets systems have started off with a base in this tech, she just doesn’t see it being adopted very rapidly in the United States. At the same time, she did add that it will experience a greater adoption outside of the United States, but not inside.

Predictions from Forrester Research have already shown that e-commerce will make up 9 percent of total retail sales over the next three years. Of that, mobile commerce will make up only 8 percent – a tiny fraction of the whole. That said, the data regarding mobile payments is much more positive, as it suggests that by 2017, it will have reached $90 billion. In the United States, though, this simply won’t be accomplished through NFC technology.

This opinion regarding the fading of NFC technology as a perceived leader in mobile payments in the United States isn’t without its practical support.  Google Wallet has made steps away from the technology that had been their primary focus until very recently.  As we reported from Money2020, that company, and PayPal, chose to add QR code tech to their transactions, instead of relying exclusively on near field communications.

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