Sharp growth predicted for m-commerce and NFC by 2014
19 April 2011 - 11:01 by Sarah Collinson
A new study has found that m-commerce and NFC (Near Field Communication) technology is going to become increasingly popular over the next three years.
Analysts at Juniper Research have said that by 2014 one fifth of all smartphones will have NFC chips built into them as standard, which will equate to around 300 million people across the world being equipped to carry out small payments with their mobiles when they are out and about as well as interact with hotspots that link to safe shopping online.
NFC is only just making its way into high end smartphones, with the Google Nexus S being the first UK handset to offer integrated compatibility with terminals that allow for contactless payment and other interactive services.
Network providers O2 and Everything Everywhere are setting their sights in leading the march of NFC and m-commerce in the UK and with big retailers like Co-Op and Spar signed up to offer the relevant payment terminals in stores around the country it seems the growth of the technology is inevitable.
In the short term NFC will be used to turn mobiles into virtual wallets, although with limits to payments of up to £15 and the requirement to enter your bank pin to keep your cash safe, it seems that most people will still need to carry cards from day to day.
Where NFC is more promising is in the general arena of allowing users to swipe their mobiles close to a compatible hotspot and then get instant information on their phones. For example it might be possible for users to see a product they like in store and then use an NFC terminal to instantly visit the retailer's website so that they can get a discounted price by safe shopping online.