The Global System for Mobile communications Association, a mobile industry trade group, has called for full NFC functionality to be built into commercially available mobile handsets by mid-2009, so consumers can benefit from mobile payment services as soon as possible.
Meeting in Macau, China, the GSMA board endorsed the single wire protocol’ standard to provide the interface between the SIM card and the embedded NFC chipset. A series of operator trials under the GSMA’s Pay-Buy-Mobile’ initiative have already demonstrated that consumers can use NFC handsets to easily and securely pay for goods and services in shops, restaurants and train stations.
“There is no doubt that there is a huge latent demand for a large variety of mobile transaction services, of which there is universal interest in proximity payments, as trials across the world have already shown,” said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA. “We are committed to ensuring that mobile payment services are delivered as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. But this will require device manufacturers to make sure that the vast majority of commercially available handsets incorporate the single wire protocol and near field communications features as standard. Doing so would enable the industry to leverage significant economies of scale, and ensure greater accessibility of NFC services.”
This call for handsets is supported by recent operator trial results, which indicate a growing consumer demand for mobile payment services. Trials are underway across eight countries involving nine mobile operators as part of the GSMA’s Pay-Buy-Mobile initiative. Further pilots are planned across 14 countries by 15 mobile operators.