NFC Mobile Payment Uptake Slow, Still Long Way To Go Says Gartner

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The NFC technology that is set to (eventually) see mobile phones used as touch-and-go payment systems not much unlike Visa and MasterCard’s card services has been growing, but research firm Gartner has set the date for mass adoption back four years.

While many industry groups and analysts have tipped widespread adoption of the technology in the coming year or two, Gartner puts it at a minimum of years following slow current growth.

“Companies are trumpeting the prospects of near field communication (NFC) without realizing the complexity of the service model. We believe mass market adoption of NFC payments is at least four years away,” said Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner and author of the NFC market research, as quoted in NFC World.

“The biggest hurdle is the need to change user behavior by convincing consumers to pay with mobile phones instead of cash and cards.”

This comes despite large growth in mobile payment services, where over 140 million people are predicted to use mobile payments in 2011, up nearly 40% on last year’s figure.

Australian banks have been trialling NFC technologies, and phones have begun shipping into the country housing NFC technology (though a very limited number so far) this year.

EBay-owned PayPal has recently showcased a person-to-person transaction system using NFC technology that would see two PayPal account holders tap their phones together, enter a PIN and send or receive a requested amount of money from the other.

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