NFC retail payments market to be worth $180bn by 2017

The NFC retail payments market will be worth more than $180bn globally by 2017, marking a seven-fold increase to the value of the market in 2012, according to Juniper Research. The firm said that that the North America, Western Europe and Far East regions will contribute 90 per cent of this market value, as smartphones with NFC payment technology become standard in those markets.

The findings were revealed in a report by the research firm, which also hailed 2011 as a watershed year for NFC payments. Over the course of the year, major technology infrastructure standards were finalised, NFC payment pilots from both mobile operators and financial institutions were launched commercially and NFC-enabled smartphone models were announced by almost all handset manufacturers, while Google also launched its mobile wallet service in the US.

However, the market acceleration of 2011 revealed that some parts of the ecosystem are unprepared for the future, according to Juniper. In particular, retailers are less convinced of the benefits of NFC payments over existing card technologies and are unwilling to invest in contactless infrastructure so soon after the transition to Chip and PIN.

The firm said that education and “win-win” propositions from other ecosystem players are necessary to make retailers as committed to this opportunity as themselves.

“This is a critical time for the NFC retail payments market.  Despite the significant progress being made today, the full potential of the market can only be fulfilled if all ecosystem players are equally committed and mobile wallet consortia remain in place,” commented Dr Windsor Holden, research director at Juniper and the report’s co-author.

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