Parks Associates has released a report predicting that NFC technology will continue to be driven by consumer demand for mobile wallet solutions in the U.S., resulting in NFC as a standard feature on smart phones by 2015.
The report, “Mobile Payment: Technologies and Business Models,” finds that 50% of U.S. smart phone owners today consider NFC-enabled mobile wallet applications “appealing.” Already 16% of smart phone owners use PayPal or other types of e-Wallet solutions as their preferred method for mobile payments, and one in four “Millennials” regularly use their mobile phones to research products or services prior to a purchase.
Parks says these factors will contribute to a smart phone-based commerce community worth more than $800 billion in 2015, spurring revenue for merchants, retailers, financial institutions and mobile carriers.
“We are witnessing a groundswell of activities in the mobile payment industry,” said Harry Wang, director of mobile research at Parks Associates. “Visa is engaged with payment solution providers, and Google recently launched its Wallet app, which integrates with its Offers service. Isis, a joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, expanded its business model to include more payment partners. Each deal signals serious interest from all parties to build scale and technology advantage over competing solutions.”
According to Parks, this fragmented landscape will gradually become more unified. Research analyst Jennifer Kent explains: “All major players are planning for a converged payments future where one digital wallet can be used for in-person retail payments and online payments across all product categories. Consumers will gravitate towards a single, trusted provider for most of their mobile commerce needs, so the development of a reliable wallet with diverse capabilities will be crucial.”
The report goes on to predict that NFC-enabled mobile wallet solutions for retail purchases and digital wallet applications for mobile eCommerce will become the dominant method of payment for consumers. Other payment solutions, like the bar code application developed by mFoundry for Starbucks or several carrier billing options, are projected to persist as a supplementary option for consumers.