NFC: An Inconvenient Truth?


What I truly appreciate about NFC technology is that it's convenient, easy, and reliable. But sadly, the lack of infrastructure dedicated to NFC-enabled devices hampers its idealistic expectations for a cashless society. For now at least.

Personally, it's something that I genuinely hope for in the event where I can no longer worry about awkwardly fishing my pockets for spare change to pay for a cup of coffee.

According to a research conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research, the high stakes for adoption of mobile wallets with an existing U.S market of over $4 trillion up for grabs is largely contested by the gang of five – Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and PayPal (eBay).

While they’ve been busy waging wars among each other in a bid to control the ecosystem of mobile commerce, their influential power over consumers appears to have a wider reach as opposed to the world's leading banks namely Visa, MasterCard, etc.

Technically, there should not be a problem with the optimization of mobile wallets and its respective infrastructure to facilitate seamless transactions for consumers so long as they follow where the money goes; in this case, the banks.

Interestingly enough, Visa, MasterCard and American Express stated that they are working together to introduce a new global standard for online and mobile payments intended to make them more secure and simplify the purchasing experience on smart phones and other devices.

The concept of mobile wallets can truly work if it’s able to completely replace cash through a universal standard that consumers can finally be assured with. It's perfectly fine for mobile wallet solution companies to have their own unique selling point, but the key to unlocking the door of problems is interoperability and getting retailers/merchants to seize the opportunity to develop mobile payments instead of forever living in a cautionary tale.

After all, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with diversified harmony and working in tandem to further realize the potential of a cashless society. Isn't it?

Ongoing discussions about the influence, impact and uses of NFC in Asia will be presented at the upcoming NFC World Asia 2014 conference on 23 – 24 April 2014, Suntec Singapore. Co-located with Asia's largest cards & payments event, the 19th annual Cards & Payments Asia 2014, NFC World Asia is the platform for all NFC advocates and detractors to share and debate on latest trending issues within the world of NFC. For more information on how you can be involved as a speaker at the conference, contact us now.

This is a guest post by Hanis Jazil

[Image: Nicholas Nova - Flickr]


  1. James

    Agree with the writer. The same thing is also expressed by the article at that Some high-end cell phones like the iPhone still do not have NFC. As the number of contactless terminals using NFC increases, consumers without NFC-enabled cell phones will not be able to use the mobile payment services, unless they buy readers.

  2. NFCforMe

    Good Article: But there are millions of EMV contactless readers installed. There 10 of million of contactless cards issued that allow me to pay for something in less than second by just waving the card, just look at the use of EDY in Japan.

    Why should I need to , unlock the phone, find the banking app, open the app find the NFC sweet spot for the phone and the banking POS reader,
    Q1 what does an NFC payment app do for me better than a contactless card?
    Q2- What does what does an NFC payment app do for the merchant better than a contactless card?
    A= Nothing, in fact it is slower
    Q3- What does what does an NFC payment app do for the Merchant Acquirer better than a contactless card?
    A= Nothing
    Q4- What does what does an NFC payment app do for the App issuer better than a contactless card?
    A= incur more costs, and margin sharing with the MNO/handset supplier/TSM etc
    Q5- What could a NFC payment application do better for me and other stakeholders in conjunction with LBS, loyalty schemes, vouchers, and the whole shopping experience?
    A- Watch this space…..

  3. Malcolm Rosier

    The company I work for has nearly contactless terminals in 9000 retail outlets. Despite the transaction fees being lower than Chip & PIN, less than 1% of our transactions are contactless and we are doing better than the national average, which is only 0.5% transcations. Maybe the question we need to ask oursleves is “what does a contactless card do for me that is better than Chip & PIN?”

Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *