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Nokia commits to an NFC future, but retailers are set to rebel

OPINION: The Finnish phone giant has become the first major manufacturer to commit to building NFC into its devices, with the announcement that all its new smartphones will come with the technology built-in from 2011. Just as one problem seems to have been solved, however, a new battlefield is now emerging in the retail payments space.

UK retailers have this week followed their US counterparts in appealing for government support to get their card processing fees reduced. Debit cards currently cost four times as much to process as cash transactions, they say, and that means the move to replacing cash with contactless cards and NFC phones will leave them out of pocket.

Hopefully, it won’t take as long for this issue to be resolved as it has taken for a manufacturer to commit to making NFC phones. But, then again, we won’t be counting on it. Banks and retailers in both the US and Europe have a history of long drawn out fights when it comes to reaching agreement over the fees which should be charged for processing new payments technologies…

Sarah Clark, Editor

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