Ajay Banga (pictured), MasterCard CEO, was positive about NFC’s potential when responding to an analyst question following its Q2 results. However, he added the technology will take more time to prove itself, not least because of the infrastructure efforts required.
“NFC to me has an opportunity because it is applicable not just for payments but also to loyalty and security. Anything that goes beyond payments to the whole shopping and consumer experience and to the merchant experience will be important in the upcoming transition that’s going on with physical and digital.”
He went on to say: “I don’t think this is a 12-18 month thing. Just think about the ecosystem that needs to be built for any of this to happen and I tend to look on it as a longer term effort.”
However, countries will evolve at different rates. He highlighted Australia where 25 per cent to 30 per cent of transactions under A$100 ($90) are now contactless. “Those are big numbers for the country compared to just two years ago.”
Canada and Turkey are two other examples of fast growth. But other countries are slower, making it hard to get a collective view of progress.
MasterCard is involved in NFC-based mobile payments partnerships with mobile operators in a number of countries. It has enabled its PayPass point-of-sale technology to accept NFC-based payments.
Separately, the credit card giant this week launched its MasterPass digital wallet in the UK which enables online as well as physical payments. Consumers can make physical payments via a smartphone through QR codes initially, with NFC to follow later.