NFC (Near Field Communication) is an open platform wireless technology, which is creating a big-buzz these days. Whether NFC is used for making convenient cashless payments at POS (point of sale) purchase, or making a P2P money transfer to a friend, making a hassle free travel/transport, or more innovative uses such as NFC marketing (obtaining discount coupons)
NFC Payments – A Numero Uno Subject
Even though NFC Technology was slow to pickup initially, but now with some of the biggest companies investing millions of Dollars in it, it is quite clear that NFC is certainly creating big impact on the market. According to Gartner’s Hype Cycle – NFC Payments tops the list as Numero Uno hyped subject.
Mobile Network Operators (MNO) taken the lead
Mobile Operators were first to take a lead for obvious reasons. Every big or small telecom operator wants to capitalise on this opportunity whether it is for broadening its customer base or increasing the market reach or simply being perceived as dominant market leader/ Pioneers in this field. This are certain risks to be a pioneer, but at the same time it give them an edge to use the first movers advantage and also reap its long term benefits.
Opportunity for Mobile Handset manufacturers (MHM)
MHM are certainly one of the biggest benefactors and beneficiaries of the NFC value chain. All the leading MHM giants have jumped into the race of creating most robust, easy to use, cheaper, faster, and innovative NFC Phones. However according to some experts, it’s the lack of sufficient NFC Handsets, which is one of the biggest hindering, factors in the NFCs growth. On the reverse side, it is a positive sign for MHM, as they have to quench the thirst of an unfulfilled market demand. Which means they will have to run faster to meet this ever-increasing demands.
Opportunity for Banks
Banks have adopted a more cautious approach due to various reasons such as lack of clarity on their role, no clear business model, WIIFM (what’s in it for me) Factor, lack of sufficient infrastructure. But now things have started to change as we can see examples of more and more Banks are now beginning to invest in creating their own MVN (mobile virtual networks) to use this NFC opportunity before it’s too late to enter. They are forming innovating alliances with other players to reap the benefits of the NFC Opportunity.
Opportunity for All
Time has come when NFC Ecosystem has finally started to emerge. It seems the success of NFC is dependent on how well all the stakeholders collaborate with each other. It is a common voice from all that no one do it all alone to make this as a global success and which means meeting the challenge of creating a lesser fragmented market or an Interoperable NFC Environment where all the MNOs, Banks, MHMs, Standardization bodies, SIM & Chip Manufacturers, Payments Processors etc work together with a common this goal.