Source: MODO News

“The future for NFC (Near Field Communication) looks very bright. Analysts have predicted that by 2015, one in two mobile phones will be NFC-enabled and that NFC will facilitate transactions worth $74 billion.” (Chung, MoDo News)

Yet, a question that still seems to be cycling around the NFC grid is all of the possible reasons why NFC success is being held back. The possible reasoning for road blocks seems to be somewhat circular; phones are not equipped with NFC technology, retailers are not equipped with NFC ready POS equipment and the question remains of how consumers really feel about the service.

Yet, in the last few weeks more mobile operators have announced NFC ready devices and plans for Wallet systems. Just a few days ago Microsoft announcing their Window’s 8 Phone to be equipped with NFC technology, along with the Microsoft Wallet as part of a strategy for outstanding the competition.

While we anxiously await a wider spread deployment of NFC ready retailers and devices, it is interesting to consider how those in the mobile payments industry can influence and encourage consumer support of the technology. Hwan Chung, CEO at Danal Europe has some interesting thoughts.

Acknowledging that most people do not have handsets capable of contactless payments, and that the stores that accept NFC payments are few and far between, Chung positively comments that there are some operators that are starting to make notable leaps advancing the industry as a whole.

“We’re starting to see mobile operators like O2 in the UK, and Rogers Communications in Canada, announce plans to enable NFC payments. This is backed up by payment providers like Visa and PayPal, who are also getting in on the act.” (Chung)

Chung emphasizes that whilst this is great, it is important that consumer flexibility be strongly considered because customers will want to take the reins in terms of deciding how they pay for purchases.

“Little has been done to provide customers with the flexibility that they want to make payments – and that’s the main issue holding back the industry, not concerns about security or service availability.” (Chung)

Within the mobile payment industry it is important that there is a certain level of understanding that consumers do not want to be ordered to do things a certain way and the early stages of the mobile payment industry should focus more on offering new purchasing channels (with encouragement to try them of course) and then letting the consumer decide.

“If operators and payment providers continue to dictate how mobile payments are made, NFC will remain on the starting blocks.” (Chung)

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