By the end of 2015, about five per cent of the global base of 600 million to 650 million NFC phones will be used monthly or more regularly to make contactless in-store payments, according to one of the 10 predictions for 2015 made by Deloitte’s technology, media and telecommunications practice.
While five per cent may not sound like a lot, the report says it is a significant increase from mid-2014 when usage was at very low levels.
Ed Marsden, lead telecoms partner at Deloitte, said: “Although we anticipate an increase in NFC-enabled in-store payments in 2015, this technology is likely to exist alongside other means of payments for some time yet.”
According to the report, 2015 will be the first year in which the prerequisites for mainstream adoption – satisfying financial institutions, merchants, consumers, technology vendors and carriers – are sufficiently addressed.
It also expects the largest card issuers in the UK and the majority of developed markets to have activated NFC-based smartphone payments by end-2015.
Contactless smartphone payment will prove to be attractive not only because it brings greater security but comes with a spending limit that can be the same as the account holder’s credit or debit card limit as opposed to contactless cards, which place a payment threshold and a transaction limit beyond which additional identification is required.
The report also notes that consumers will be more open to contactless smartphone payments because they are becoming familiar with the concepts of contactless cards and using fingerprint recognition on phones.
However, customer education and marketing will be essential to increase awareness of the ability to pay using a phone. What’s more, the report says all players should consider how contactless smartphone payments can be made even more secure.
A recent study by Strategy Analytics has revealed that the Asia Pacific region will account for the largest share of spending via NFC-based smartphones in 2020.
The region will be ahead of North America (31 per cent) and Western Europe (21 per cent).
Deloitte has also forecast that for the first time the number of smartphone upgrades will reach one billion in 2015, generating almost £200 billion in sales, and that 60% of all wireless Internet of Things devices will be bought for enterprise and industry use, not consumers.