Everyone is enthusiastic about NFC. In every pilot customers are seduced by the convenience of NFC. But, so far, NFC has not developed as anticipated, for several reasons: a complete offer of handsets is not yet available, and also payment applications are still not rolled out as setting up such a project is complex, and the business model and the revenue share pattern are still under negotiations between mobile network operators and financial institutions.
A growing number of companies have made their minds not to wait for bankers and telcos to agree on how they will share revenue, which is non-existent for the time being. Inside Contactless, Nexperts, Proxama, … demonstrated non-payment NFC applications. The advantage of these applications is they can be set up quickly, generally in collaboration with the mobile network operator, and without the need to wait for multiple partners to have found common grounds. Our secure transactions industry is showing its impatience by being able to supply quickly answers to market needs.
At the same time, several companies are exploring means to develop the appropriate hardware to support the development of NFC infrastructure. Of course this hardware includes handsets, as daring ventures like Sagem Wireless, in France, or Fonelabs, in Malaysia, are in the process of developing. Also some other companies, like Airtag are developing NFC dedicated terminals that will allow a customer interaction at point of sales, targeting marketing applications rather than payment.
There is such a global enthusiasm about NFC that the whole business community can’t wait for mass rollouts of payment applications.