Who will profit from NFC, mobile payments?
Cell-phone makers, carriers, banks, and even Google have something to gain from you swapping out your wallet for your mobile phone.
We've been talking about
What makes the topic such a tangle is the fact that the term "mobile payments" can mean anything from(near-field communication) technology at the cash register or bus stop to paying for items with a smartphone app.
For each of the
Banks: As with credit cards, banks can extend lines of credit to individuals for NFC and other mobile-payment use.
Credit card companies: When mobile payments start catching on, consumers will depend less on credit cards and more on NFC chips in their phones for approving digital deductions from their bank accounts while at a register. If MasterCard can give their mobile apps traction, they can keep money flowing through their channels while keeping it away from new contenders.and
Terminal makers: Someone has to make the boxes that sit at cash registers and on bus poles, and make it possible in general to make payments with a wave of your phone. VeriFone made its name with credit card and ATM terminals at supermarkets and department stores, but scores of others aim to profit as well.have reportedly partnered to create NFC-capable point-of-cale terminals in New York and San Francisco.
Device manufacturers: If you build it with NFC chips, it will sell. Google's
Carriers: Mobile purchasing is convenient, and phones with NFC chips inside can help attract and keep customers. That's just one part of the equation. AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile have banded together to form the, which also includes an incentive element, with deals and coupons. Sprint is apparently also hatching its own plan to .
E-commerce players: Google, Amazon, eBay (PayPal), and other online sellers with their own payment structure can hope to extend their services to the mobile space.is considering its role with NFC, according to one report. Another report points to with MasterCard. will also be extending its mobile presence, CNET learned. PayPal already has various mobile apps for peer-to-peer money transfers as well.
Coupon and daily deal providers: Software makers already got the ball rolling with apps that scan Groupon app) in exchange for goods. As people grow accustomed to using a phone instead of a card for buying goods and services, deal makers and advertisers will be able to expand.and other bar codes (like the
Merchants: Merchants themselves have much to gain. For example, they can take advantage of coupons and impulse buys to drive sales at brick-and-mortar shops and stalls.
There are financial gains in store for players across the field, if they can make their solutions stick. But experts so far agree that it will take significant infrastructure investments and consumer campaigns to make mobile payments mainstream. For NFC payments in particular, we'll need to see more phones come embedded with chips, and we'll get there. Next, we'll need one or two far-reaching systems in enough urban centers to make NFC payments as natural as swiping your ATM card at the grocery store (ourhere).
Although NFC is short-range (about 4 inches) and encrypted, security and privacy concerns are another potential hurdle for widespread adoption. Yet, given the recent swell of interest from companies with means like Google and Visa, mobile payments will reach a tipping point where they become an inevitability.