Survey finds lack of industry coordination delaying NFC uptake

Adoption of mobile payments using near field communication technology is still at least two years away thanks to poor coordination between industry players, according to a survey from Sybase 365.

The results of a poll of 251 visitors to the GSMA Mobile World Congress last month showed 76% believed widespread mobile payments using NFC would take two years or more to become a reality.

With a range of stakeholders, including mobile operators, merchants, payment processors, banks and developers all involved, 30% cite a lack of industry coordination as the main delay for a rapid deployment of mobile payments.

A lack of NFC readers at the point-of-sale was raised as a reason by 26% of respondents and inadequate handsets by 25%.

“For mobile commerce to take off, industry stakeholders must harmonise their efforts in the same way that led to proliferation of SMS and MMS technologies,” said Marty Beard, president of Sybase 365.

“In markets where multiple parties are working together, such as Mpass Germany and Paybox Austria, we have successful ecosystems where end users can pay for a multitude of goods and services via the mobile.”

Beard added that existing mobile channels such as SMS and USSD were already being used to create such ecosystems, and NFC needed to show it could improve on these services.

“Mobile channels such as SMS, browser and apps are already being implemented by merchants globally,” he said. “The challenge facing NFC is how to make the consumer payment experience significantly faster and easier than it already is.”

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