Juniper Research has published their forecast that in five years, one in every six mobile subscribers in the world will possess a mobile phone enabled with Near Field Communications capabilities.
The consequences, of course, for businesses, consumers, and mobile marketers will be as significant as they are promising.
According to Juniper’s research, the NFC report illustrated that payments and retail transactions (including mobile coupons) will contribute dramatically in transforming the cell phone into a widespread payment tool and an unprecedented mechanism for sales and promotional opportunities for retailers.
Howard Wilcox, the report’s author, explained the practical value providing the impetus for the predicted growth: “Our research found that both the business model and the roll out of POS (Point of Sale) NFC readers at merchant locations are issues that need solving – depending on the country. As these are overcome NFC is poised to enter an operational build up phase culminating in mass service roll outs across many countries.”
The NFC research also showed that while NFC payments are currently well established in Japan, it could take until 2014 for North America and Western Europe to experience similar growth. By that time, however, the NFC global gross transaction value will likely exceed $110 billion.