The Infrastructure for NFC is Finally Developing

New research from Berg Insight indicates that the infrastructure required for expanded NFC mobile wallet services is finally emerging.

There were NFC mobile wallet services commercially live in 13 countries worldwide at the end of Q1-2013, the report notes, which is up from just 6 countries at the end of 2011.

However, these services are still available to a very small number of consumers, Berg explains.

“With the exception of a few projects in Asia-Pacific, there are only three NFC mobile wallet services in the world that have an effective addressable market of more than 100,000 people. These three services are Google Wallet and Isis in the US and Turkcell Wallet in Turkey,” explains Lars Kurkinen, telecom analyst at Berg Insight.

This will change substantially during the next few years due to the massive rollouts of NFC-enabled phones, NFC-ready POS terminals and TSM solutions.

“The market for NFC-enabled mobile phones reached a breakthrough in late 2011 and accelerated further in 2012 as new NFC handsets were introduced by all leading handset vendors except Apple,” reads the report from Berg Insight.

Total NFC handset sales grew 300 percent to 140 million units worldwide in 2012.

The global installed base of NFC-enabled handsets reached 170 million units in 2012, which corresponds to approximately 3.3 percent of all mobile handsets in use. Between 2012 and 2017, the installed base of NFC-enabled handsets is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 65 percent to reach 2.1 billion units at the end of the forecast period.