The latest study from UK-based Juniper Research projects that 700 million mobile subscribers globally will have phones equipped with NFC contactless technology by 2013. That’s still less than half of the estimated two billion cell phones currently in use.
In the second report in its Mobile Payment Markets series, Juniper found that there is a significant opportunity for NFC mobile payment services, chips, phones and supporting services as the market reaches its tipping point over the 2011 to 2013 period.
“NFC is an exciting and versatile technology that has great potential to make many everyday tasks such as buying small value items as well as tickets much easier,” said the report’s author, Howard Wilcox. “In the future, users will also be able to discover new services by holding their NFC phones next to smart posters and advertisements. The Oyster card in London and the recent O2 Wallet trial results confirm the promise of NFC.”
Highlights from the report include:
–The market is currently dominated by FeliCa-enabled phones on the networks of NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and SoftBank in Japan, where it’s estimated that some 50 million FeliCa-enabled phones have been shipped to date.
–North America, Western Europe and the Far East and China will be the leading regions by 2013, with each having annual shipments in excess of 25% of total NFC phone shipments.
The report cautions however that while the trial results so far have been encouraging, there are two important factors that will determine the speed of market traction in the next couple of years: the availability of NFC phones; and the speed of installation of NFC readers by merchants.
The NFC ecosystem needs to deliver: it needs to ensure that the ever growing number of trials around the globe are translated into full service offerings, says the report.
The study also provides six year regional forecasts of NFC mobile payments for physical goods and services, providing data on device shipments, subscriber take-up, transaction sizes and volumes as well as case studies from companies pioneering in this market.