Monday, February 04, 2008

NFC Science Fiction

In a recent Aite report it was found that one could expect only about 2.0% of merchants to have the capability to accept contactless payments in the United States. This would be the case after five years from now. Surely this is a HUGE stumbling block to even think of NFC payments as a remotely viable product.

If this information is correct, it is highly unlikely that any NFC product can be made commercially successful. Why would any-one consider walking around with a payment product that will only be accepted at 2 in every 100 outlets? The report also highlights the challenge of providing every player with a slice of revenue that will make it worth their while to deploy and push this infrastructure. It is almost as if every-one is working on NFC solutions when no problems exist that needs solving.

In my opinion, NFC payments is not a silver bullet. We all know the form of the hype curve. It is not difficult to judge where NFC is on this curve on the moment. Next phase: valley of disillusion.

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