The number of NFC-ready point-of-sale terminals around the world is set to soar over the next few years, from 3.9 million in 2011 to 43.4 million in 2017, claims Swedish research firm Berg Insight.
In other news, "Three quarters of NFC-based mobile wallets will shut down by 2014".
"The popularity of mobile wallets will help drive the move to NFC terminals". This must be news for mobile wallet providers who grumble that lack of NFC terminals is the biggest hurdle for their mainstream adoption.
While NFC might arguably improve the customer experience marginally, it absolutely won't provide "unprecedented opportunity for retailers to interact with consumers in real-time". Hasn't Berg Insight heard that realtime offers have been facilitated by non-NFC
technologies for several years now?
I agree with Ketharaman. These sorts of forecasts are pure fantasy!
I agree with Ketharaman that labeling this as "unprecedented opportunity" is stretching it too far. However, I also want to point out that while real-time offers using non-NFC based technologies have been around for quite some time they are vastly dependent
on customers proactively using (or activating) their location based services on their smartphone. NFC will allow the retailer to take control and push real-time offers to the customer and as such will be able to reach more customers. Good observation nevertheless.
@NickC & @ArunA: Thank you for your comments.
@ArunA: LBS is only one example of a non-NFC technology that permits realtime interaction via "geo-fenced" offers. Here, I agree with what you say about the need for the LBS service to be on. In fact, I'd go one step further and claim that, given rapid battery
depletion problem in many smartphones when GPS / LBS is on, geo-fenced offer technology is unlikely to reach mainstream adoption for a while. However, non-NFC technologies include others that are based on credit cards. As long as the consumer pays via a certain
enrolled credit card at a certain merchant, s/he automatically gets a realtime offer in her / his mobile phone. There's no need for any LBS service to be on. In fact, for SMS-based offers, there's no need for any mobile app to be on. For non-SMS-based offers,
the rewards app has to be on, but that's no different from the NFC situation where the mobile wallet app must be on. Besides, in an NFC situation involving Google Wallet - not sure about ISIS though - the consumer must have opted in to receive offers from
merchants in the first place, so a merchant can't unilaterally take control and bombard the consumer with offers.
Point noted Ketharaman!
© Finextra Research 2013