Sunday, April 10, 2011

Who Will Be the Main NFC Players? And When Will It Happen?

We all know the potential of near field communication capability and the potentials that it holds. Many of us dreamt of it. Many of us painted wondrous pictures of a mobile future that involves transfer of payment and information with the quick swipe of our phones or mobile devices and leaving the wallet at home.

Just who will make this all happen? Who is going to launch the infrastructure that will allow mobile warriors to do all this? And what about security?

Amazon is looking into this in a big way and given the number of credit cards they've got in their database, I think they're going to be a major player. If not, they're going to give it a good shot.

Then there is Google who will try to make their presence felt by virtue of the number of Android devices on the market.

Apple has time and time against said that they have over one hundred and fifty million accounts that they can leverage. Though they mentioned those figures with regards to their iTunes App Store but no one is naive in thinking Apple won't try to translate its near one hundred million iOS users into mobile payment users.

The way I see this at the end of the day is that the initial period of adoptions will be exciting as it is chaotic. Just about every big named tech companies will announce or launch their own services. Being first will have some advantages. Many alliances will also be formed.

Credit card companies, wireless providers, mobile device makers. Even department stores. Online payment services like Paypal.

Over time, probably a year as deployment accelerates, we'll see some shake out, misfires, and many vaporware services. The key for many of them is going to be persistence.

For consumers, we will be bombarded with grand visions. At the end of the day, we are going to try and see through the smoke screens. What it comes down to is what works for us. And if the mobile payment "just works".

It I'd possible that the regular cell phones will have native payment scheme as provided by the wireless service provider while the smartphones and mobile devices will allow users to cater to their mobile payment needs.

Want to use Paypal on the iPhone for your eBay transactions? Check. A mobile function will likely be built into the eBay app. iTunes for everything else? You bet. Bank and credit cards for everything else? Definitely.

When will this all start for everyone and I mean everyone? I would have thought summer but we can be looking at a large scale announcements and deployments in early 2012, probably CES.

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