ABI Research: NFC payments forecasted to reach $100 billion by 2016

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Near Field Communication (NFC) payment technology is being billed as the next big thing in wireless. Europe and Japan have welcomed NFC with open arms but outside of a few major cities, it has yet to gain traction in the US. That’s all expected to change in a few years according to a new report from ABI Research.

The group believes that more than $100 billion in NFC payments will be processed by 2016. The forecast for the following year is even greater as sales could reach as high as $200 billion. For comparison, only about $4 billion in transactions will be processed this year.

NFC hasn’t taken off as quickly as some might have hoped for a number of different reasons. John Devlin from ABI points out that the business model hasn’t been clearly identified and proven. There simply aren’t any real-world case studies to demonstrate potential returns. Furthermore, adoption of NFC will hinge on the ability to educate the general public about the technology and how it has the potential to be a serious game-changer.

When the time comes, however, the group feels that transportation and ticketing services will be the first to greatly benefit from NFC. Transportation authorities will be able to offer additional value to NFC applications by including things like route planners, delay bulletins and time tables and well as retail / loyalty benefits.

Adoption is expected to take off more rapidly in the coming weeks / months as mobile payment service Isis rolls out in the US. Isis is a joint venture backed by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon designed to rival Google Wallet. The service was expected to be ready last month but a handful of small issues have kept the launch at bay thus far.

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