The market for NFC mobile payments is slowly growing alongside the burgeoning roll-outs of NFC-enabled handsets, NFC-ready Point of Sale (POS) terminals and Trusted Service Manager (TSM) solutions.
According to research from Berg Insight, NFC mobile wallet services are now commercially live in 13 countries as of the end of March 2013.
The number has more than doubled since the end of 2011, when only six countries had such services available.
Total NFC handset sales grew by 300 percent to 140 million units in 2012, while the total installed base of NFC-enabled handsets reached 170 million units globally – equivalent to 3.3 percent of all the mobile handsets in use around the world.
However, the percentage of customers using these NFC mobile payments service is still quite small.
“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”, said Lars Kurkinen, telecom analyst, Berg Insight.
Despite this, Berg Insight estimates that the installed base of NFC-enabled mobile handsets will reach 2.1 billion units by 2017.
The number of installed NFC-ready POS terminals, meanwhile, will jump from 6.7 million units in 2012 to 44.6 million units by 2017.
Penetration rates of NFC-ready POS terminals are forecast to hit 87 percent in 29 countries in Europe; 82 percent in North America and 68 percent in Latin America; while the rest of the world will hit 39 percent.
TSM solutions are also on the rise as operators and banks rush to implement over-the-air security for issuing payment credentials. At the end of 2013, it is predicted that 140 companies will be using a TSM solution in commercially live NFC mobile wallet services worldwide.