There has been a considerable acceleration of change within the mobile market space where both the NFC enabled players (Google Wallet) and non NFC Players (PayPal / Square / I Zettle) continue to create the new flight path whilst the schemes, banks and processors play catch up. Banks are only now beginning to publish their mobile strategy plans in response to this activity.
In the US Google announced a series of additional customer signups including Foot Locker, Guess, Macy’s, and Toys ‘R’ Us who have enabled their loyalty programs and discount coupons for Google Wallet. In addition they have also updated their wallet for customers to not only pay for their purchases but also announced a single tap mechanism in addition to stores loyalty programs.The industry watches with interest awaiting what changes following Google’s $12.5Bn purchase of Motorola in the continuing android platform battle. Europe’s Square competitor iZettle, has raised $11.2 million in Series A funding and claim that their reader is more secure than EMV and complaint with PCI DSS standards.
Banks are busy repositioning themselves within these market dynamics. NTT DOCOMO a leading mobile operator from Japan acquired a controlling interest in private German Bank Bankverein Werther. In the UK Barclaycard has joined the NFC Forum as a sponsor member; Commonwealth Bank in Australia also announced their plans for contactless-mobile payments and in Turkey Visa Europe is promoting a second iPhone attachment with the iCarte.
With Christmas nearly upon us the big topic of debate for 2012 will be NFC adoption with handsets. Research suggests a wider availability of smartphones combined with more contactless acceptance at merchant locations should generate some $71 billion in near field communication mobile payments worldwide by 2015.