ABI Research has released a new report predicting that China will see more than $8 billion in NFC payments by 2014.
According ABI, Chinese device manufacturers and operators like ZTE are keen to move ahead with contactless mobile payments. This is due in part to an enormous market with more than 868 million cell phone subscribers as of March 2011.
“China’s mobile payments industry is burgeoning, attracting many participants wishing to grab first-mover advantage and vie for a bigger slice of the pie,” ABI Research said in a release. “Financial institutions (China UnionPay), third party mobile payment service providers, and Mobile Network Operators (China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom) are all jostling for position.”
ABI added that the Chinese government has expressed interest in an NFC SIM card solution that would serve as a bridging solution to stimulate the contactless payments market. According to the report, WatchData’s SIMpass solution has attracted strong interest from all three operators. As a result, more NFC handset add-ons are shipped than actual NFC-enabled mobile handsets. For instance, 2.5 million SIMpass devices were shipped in 2010, versus only 45,000 NFC handsets.