Commercial transactions by mobile phone are projected to total $1.6 billion this year, primarily due to Internet shopping, according to new data from New York-based ABI Research. However, mobile commerce using NFC-compliant phones will be minimal this year, the firm adds.
“Mobile Internet shopping is the largest piece of the action,” said Mark Beccue, ABI Research senior analyst. “Thanks to red-hot smart phone adoption, an increasing number of subscribers are shopping at mobile commerce sites such as Amazon and eBay.”
There are two main mobile commerce technology camps: NFC, and “the rest” — methods based on non-NFC technologies such as SMS, mobile Internet, and mobile applications. The development of the NFC market has not met early expectations, a failure not of technology, but of unclear business models, said ABI’s practice director Dan Shey. Non-NFC platforms are seeking to fill this gap.
“NFC is the ‘holy grail’ that provides the easiest user experience. Other methods require more work and expertise from the consumer. The question is: will the NFC market respond to these alternatives and get organized or will it continue on its own path?” asked Shey.
ABI’s latest study, Mobile Money Services and Contactless Payment Forecasts, breaks down the market data in two primary areas: 1) mobile financial services, which include banking, domestic person to person payments and international remittances and 2) mobile commerce, which includes information about both NFC and non-NFC related transactions.