After several years of initiatives such as its Passbook wallet, this year will finally see Apple grasp the mettle and launch a fully-fledged mobile payments service, according to a forecast made by UK research firm Ovum.
Unsurprisingly, Ovum concludes such an initiative will have a positive impact on consumer take-up of mobile payments, although the impact could be negative for other players vying for the same market.
And the competition could get even tougher if another forecast by the research firm comes true. Amazon has been pursuing a low-key approach to mobile payments but the recent purchase of GoPago, an MPoS provider, means it will finish 2014 with a deeper portfolio of mobile payment services, said Ovum.
Elsewhere, the firm predicts 2014 will not be the year that NFC takes off, and neither will 2015. “A growing number of alternative enabling technologies are readily available, and at lower cost of merchants and consumers,” said Ovum.
However, hosted card emulation (HCE) could give NFC a helping hand. HCE offers a cloud-based approach to NFC that could boost adoption by opening the door to innovation and competition.
But HCE needs the support of the leading credit card firms and to address security concerns if it is to deliver on its potential.
Bluetooth low energy technology could come to the fore through applications such as Apple’s iBeacon. But Ovum warns there is a danger of hype which obscures the limitations of what these applications can do.