Forrester’s report, ‘NFC: What lies beyond contactless payments’, discloses that wide public adoption of NFC is still a decade away. The report claims that the infrastructure required will take three years to properly deploy, while pushing NFC-supporting phones into consumers’ hands will take at least two more years.
The report reveals how the Olympics is doing its part to educate the consumer, such as an event partnership between Samsung and Visa, which Forrester predicts could be a “marketing catalyst” for contactless payments. However, it still expects critical mass – ie, more than 15-20% of the population – not to be achieved for at least three to five years.
Is NFC really that useful?
In an accompanying report named ‘Why the digital wallet wars matter’, analysts from the market research firm go as far as to ask whether NFC is really needed. “Neither consumers nor merchants are struggling with the swipe mechanism of traditional card payments, leading many to wonder if mobile digital wallets are a solution in search of a problem,” says analyst, Denee Carrington.
Forrester does feel that NFC has a future, though. Carrrington feels it shows “real promise” in terms of efficient connectivity to value-add services before, during and after the payment is made. The report picks out the likes of offers, coupons, product information, loyalty and rewards incentives as having a role in NFC’s eventual proliferation.