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Near Field Communication (NFC) wallets – Market Status

Hello all,

This post will be about NFC wallets and usage for payments at Point Of Sale. Let’s observe announcements made by each of the payment players.

PayPal

Image representing Scott Thompson as depicted ...

Image via CrunchBase

PayPal has announced that NFC wasn’t a focus for them first and as Scott Thompson has put it NFC should have stand for “Not For Commerce”. Playing their own strengths and be present mostly remote payments and have no presence at Point Of Sale, it makes sense for the growing giant to say so. They then came back on their own opinion saying that they would consider NFC and will keep an eye out for any development in that space. Of course for a payment player to say that they would ignore 80% of current payments doesn’t make sense and maybe PayPal has realised that they had to play where  the majority of the payments happened and with the current tools used if they wanted a real share of that huge business.

Square

Square’s model is obviously to re-create the Point Of Sale ecosystem as they are effectively trying to create Point Of Sale out of all mobile phones and other devices. So again it makes perfect sense for them to say they don’t want NFC.

Visa

Visa’s main announcement today was about a trial that they are doing in France with Credit Agricole. For doing so, they have by-past the usual partner that is Telco with having a clever piece of Hardware (phone case in that instance) to allow to introduce the chip close enough to the phone to process payments.

Visa will also launch their eCommerce and mCommerce wallet which will probably have an NFC component to it.

MasterCard

Clearly the biggest and strongest player in that field so far. MasterCard has launched a TON of beta and tests around the world (watch Ann Cairns video) – always playing with all partners when they are relevant (manufacturers, Telcos, Banks, etc)

UK with Barclays and Orange

Latin America with Telefonica

Turkey with Turkcel

MasterCard logo used on cards 1990 to present.

Image via Wikipedia

Dubai with RIM (BlackBerry) and Etisalat

US with Google, Citi and FirstData

Korea with Samsung banks and card issuers

Personally, I think the way to NFC will be to try, fail, iterate and make improvements before winning and I particularly like the approach of MasterCard right now. They play with everyone and the they play offense on a field that no one will monetise for a long time. Well played.

Sincerely,
David Pardo

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