LIVE FROM THE GSMA’S NFC & MOBILE MONEY SUMMIT, NEW YORK: Developed and emerging markets are becoming increasingly distinct in terms of the approaches needed for mobile money and NFC — while Apple could be critical to the future of NFC. Those were the major themes to emerge from a closing keynote session designed to wrapup the two-day conference.

Ahmed Dermish, director of policy and regulation at Bankable Frontier Associates, said: “Both solutions in the emerging and developed markets are unique now.”

Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, agreed: “The key thing that stood out for me is that this is truly a global movement. To see it emphasised is very interesting. And it’s not just developed markets but also emerging markets.”

Rohit Puri, director of Ernst & Young’s Global Telecommunications Centre, added that the role of mobile operators will differ between the two types of markets.

“Mobile operators may have a wider role to play in emerging markets due to the requirement to have mobile phones,” he said.

Mawston also expressed surprise that the potential impact of Apple supporting NFC was not discussed more: “Apple is the one standout device maker that has the potential to make NFC a hero or a zero.”

And with usability flagged as an issue in driving rollout of mobile money and NFC, Mawston said Apple’s entry into the market could be significant: “Apple is the 100lb gorilla that has the potential to change things. I think if we can get that usability all the other things behind it will flow.”