Even as near-field communication continues to struggle as far as adoption is concerned, more and more people are using their smartphones to pay for their purchases.
NFC has been coming out in an increasing number of devices during the past year, but there are still snags in the way. For one, there are just too many mobile wallet services that are reliant on NFC, and these services are not exactly in tune with one another. In fact, competing mobile wallet services have been using different standards and different systems. Just take a look at what Google Wallet and ISIS has done.
There are just too many players that both merchants and consumers are holding out, just waiting to see who will emerge victorious, before they put their money on a single system.
On top of that mobile payments is also saddled by the fact that it still needs to prove that it can provide a better or more convenient way to pay than cash and credit cards.
Even so, eMarketer reports that mobile payments may breach the $1 billion mark this year, almost doubling the $540 million in sales recorded in 2012. What’s more, eMarketer predicts that in 2017, mobile payment transactions will reach more than $58.4 billion.
The mobile payments market might be growing slower than what is expected, but it is making strides. In 2011, there were only 2.7 million people using some form of mobile payment platform. eMarketer predicts that 10.9 million people will be paying with their mobile phones in 2013 and this will continue to rise to 54.1 million people in 2017.
Take note, however, that adoption and fragmentation issues are not unique to the near-field communication platform. Other platforms are having problems as well.
Nevertheless, the eMarketer predictions are congruent with what other research firms are saying: mobile payments are here to stay and will pick up its pace. Gartner in June 2013 predicted that mobile payments would contribute $721 billion in sales in 2017. The Yankee Group has a more conservative forecast at $531.2 million. While Juniper Research predicts that by 2017, mobile payments will bring it as much as $1.3 trillion in sales!
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