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Non-NFC commerce outpaces NFC dealings

Posted: 17 Mar 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:NFC? commerce mobile? transaction NFC?

The value of mobile commerce transacted via non-NFC methods in 2009 will total $1.6 billion, while mobile commerce conducted via NFC will be minimal, according to ABI Research.

"Mobile Internet shopping is the largest piece of the action," said Mark Beccue, ABI Research senior analyst. "Thanks to red-hot smart phone adoption, an increasing number of subscribers are shopping at mobile commerce sites such as Amazon and eBay."

There are two main mobile commerce technology camps: NFC and "the rest"methods based on non-NFC technologies such as SMS, mobile Internet and mobile applications. The development of the NFC market has not met early expectations, said ABI Research practice director Dan Shey. It was a failure not of technology, but of unclear business models. Non-NFC platforms aim to fill this gap.

Shey said, "NFC is the 'holy grail' that provides the easiest user experience. Other methods require more work and expertise from the consumer. The question is: Will the NFC market respond to these alternatives and get organized, or will it continue on its own path?"

Demand for these services and related mobile money services (i.e. banking, domestic person-to-person payments, and international remittances) is undeniable, although its drivers differ around the world. Industrialized regions' customers are becoming comfortable with using their mobile phones for more than just traditional communications. In the developing world, mobile money services promised as an alternative to scarce financial institutions for money transfers, and as ways to reach the previously "unbanked."

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