NFC’s slow development could cause it to lag behind other mobile payment solutions for at least six years, according to New York-based ABI Research’s latest report. In the mean time, the study notes, three existing technologies–text messaging, mobile Internet and downloadable mobile applications–have the potential to deliver what NFC so far has not.
“About half of all purchases made by consumers last year were made with cash,” said Mark Beccue, senior analyst at ABI Research . “Consumers would in many cases prefer cashless transactions when away from home. So around the world solutions providers have leveraged SMS, mobile Internet and downloadable mobile applications to enable mobile commerce and payments.”
ABI projects the potential revenue in 2013 from mobile transactions using these methods could total about $18 billion.
The ABI study examines the potential for mobile payments in four vertical markets that will drive adoption: taxis, parking, movies and Internet shopping. While the latter is usually done using credit cards anyway, the first three are areas in which mobile payments could replace cash transactions. The research found that Internet shopping would account for almost three quarters of this mobile commerce revenue in 2013. A further 15% would come from parking, with the balance split about evenly between taxi fares and movie tickets.
“Companies already seizing this mobile payment opportunity include parking solutions provider Verrus, Bharti Airtel and movie theater operators in India, and eBay and Amazon, both which have enthusiastically embraced mobile transactions with very comprehensive offerings,” added Beccue.
The study, “Mobile Commerce and Payments,” also examines several emerging markets in which consumers are or will be using their mobile devices to purchase goods or services using SMS and mobile Internet.