Global NFC handset shipments to cross 550 mn units by 2015
A recent research has revealed that global shipments of handsets with NFC technology will rise to nearly 550 million units by 2015.
The decision by three major US mobile carriers to partner with credit card companies on a mobile commerce initiative will boost the market for embedded payment technology in mobile phones and this will enable the rise in shipments.
AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile this month said they would work with Visa and MasterCard on their Isis joint venture, which was established to form a nationwide infrastructure for NFC-enabled mobile payments using mobile handsets in the United States.
The original Isis joint venture announced in November did not include Visa and MasterCard. Instead, Isis employed Discover Financial Services and the US arm of UK bank Barclays to handle the monetary aspects of commercial NFC mobile payments services in the United States.
With the participation of Visa and MasterCard, the Isis system will allow consumer credit card information to be securely stored on mobile phones, and will use NFC as the communication protocol to facilitate the financial transaction.
Combined with Google’s efforts to promote mobile payment technology in Android smartphones, the changes in the Isis initiative have spurred an upgrade in the forecast for global shipments of NFC-equipped mobile phones.
It is predicted 93.2 million NFC-equipped mobile phones will ship worldwide this year, up from the December forecast of 79.8 million. In 2014, 411.8 million NFC mobile phones will ship, compared to 220.1 million in the previous prediction. Shipments then will rise to 544.7 million in 2015.
This means that 30.5 percent of all mobile phones shipped in 2015 will have the capacity to conduct mobile commerce using NFC technology. With NFC, consumers can pay their bus fare, buy a plane ticket or make an ATM/credit card purchase by holding their mobile phones near wireless terminals.
Visa and MasterCard’s move to participate in Isis represents an attempt by these credit card companies to prevent Google from gaining a foothold in the market for mobile payments. With the addition of the major financial firms, the Isis effort is set to gain momentum over the long term.
However, Isis is facing some short-term delays while it recalibrates its mobile payment strategy to suit Visa and MasterCard.