The Year Ahead for NFC: Major M-Commerce Rollouts Unlikely Until 2013

By: 
Dan Balaban

2012 was going to be the year that the new era of NFC-based mobile commerce had finally arrived–with Google Wallet rolling out widely, mobile operators in the U.S. and Europe making significant inroads with their own mobile wallets and big Asian m-commerce players generally commercializing NFC, as well.

But as 2011 comes to a close, a different picture is emerging, one that indicates this long-awaited era of tapping phones to pay and conducting a range of other m-commerce services will likely have to wait for another year.

To be sure, there is progress on all fronts, with just about all major handset makers and mobile platform providers adopting the technology and beginning to release phones, and the first NFC commercial launches by telcos, along with Google, already taking place.

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Article comments

 
patrickmeyer Dec 23 2011

Excellent of the USA/Global summary.
As an expert in mobile/social and marketing innovation for Fortune 1000 brands, and a partner at NFC marketing/media leader Thinaire...I thought I would provide a bit more:
--4th Marketer/Mega-agency: high interest and commitments going into place: pilot in 1st half; roll-out plans for 2nd half and 2013.
--There Are 2 Spheres Of NFC: e.wallet & Mktg/Media Interaction. The press focus and the competition is all around Google Wallet and e.wallet player alliances. Yet, an estimated 20 times the activity is going to come from "Deeper Engagement & Total Activation & Peer-to-Peer/Social Sharing". This is where Thinaire has been focused for years with its system. This is also where marketers are focused...Thinaire/NFC in media, at retail, on products, and eventually e.commerce.
--QR Distraction To NFC...The Migration Path: Marketers are blindly moving to QR yet not thinking about its challenges and the UE (user experience) attached to the QR. Sometimes QR's are connected to a non-mobile optimized website. Yet there is an approach we are using that is getting traction, results and metrics: Thinaire Tap Or Snap. This gives the users a side by side option to go NFC or QR. It helps QR to cover while NFC phone adoption comes (est. 40% of smartphones by 2012 in USA)
--Leadership Marketers: Not all marketers get it. We see leadership marketers laying out a biz/tech roadmap and NFC is part of the fusion of mobile, social, retail. Select agencies are moving with these CMO directives.
Here is a Kraft/Horizon Media/Thinaire effort that just previewed in Chicago with Tap Or Snap.
http://bit.ly/sKZRJq
Keep the great insights coming. NFC will surprise many on 2012 progress.

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