NFC still on the cards, says research firm

NFC-enabled mobile wallet services are finally gaining momentum, according to research from Berg Insight.  The firm reported that there were mobile wallet services commercially live in 13 countries worldwide at the end of 1Q13, up from just six countries at the end of 2011.

Uptake and addressable markets remain limited, however, The firm noted that with the exception of a few projects in Asia-Pacific, there are only three NFC mobile wallet services in the world that have an addressable market of more than 100,000 people: Google Wallet and Isis in the US and the Turkcell Wallet in Turkey.

Berg Insight expects that this will change over the next few years due to the wider availability of NFC-enabled phones, POS terminals and trusted service manager (TSM) solutions. The firm estimates that total NFC handset sales grew 300 per cent to 140 million units worldwide last year and projects that, between 2012 and 2017, the installed base of NFC-enabled handsets will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 65 per cent to reach 2.1 billion units.

The penetration rate for NFC across all handset segments will similarly increase to approximately 32 per cent by 2017, the firm noted, while global shipments of NFC-ready POS terminals doubled to an estimated 3.9 million units in 2012.

Berg Insight also stated that in-store mobile wallet payments in Europe (EU plus Switzerland and Norway) is forecast to grow from less than €100m in 2012 at a CAGR of 275 per cent to reach €45bn in 2017.

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