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ABI: NFC progress 'slower than expected'

Posted: 15 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NFC deployment? contactless technology? mobile device?

Although long-term prospects remain promising for contactless technology, ABI Research reports that deployments in transportation ticketing and electronic payments is making slower progress than anticipated.

Revised figures from ABI now suggest the use of contactless payments grew more than 15 percent last year and the market is now valued at more than $200 million. It is expected to grown incrementally to be worth $820 million by 2013.

Contactless payment systems can be implemented in credit cards or smart cards for secure payments via RF, infrared, cellular or Bluetooth technologies. They can also be implemented in mobile devices for making quick purchases at concession stands, fast food restaurants and stores through the use of NFC.

ABI says that contrary to expectations, NFC handsets did not ship in any volume toward the end of 2007 and the market will remain limited for the first half of 2008. Because of this, the firm has adjusted its forecasted quarter and annual figures for NFC device shipments from 1.1 million last year and 9.81 million for 2008 to 0.65 million and 6.52 million, respectively.

However, the market researchers are sticking to their long-term forecasts for the sector. They note that Europe took its first real steps toward contactless payment adoption in 2007. The initial U.K. contactless rollout in London that began in the second half of the year will prove a bellwether for the technology in Europe, especially given the scale of the initial rollout and the integration of contactless with the established EMV smartcard payment system.

Consumers are already using the technology in commercial rollouts in Germany and Austria and as well as the London project, it is being trialed in many other countries and towns, including Singapore, the Netherlands, Finland, and New York.

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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