A new report from Berg Insight points to a healthy future for NFC technology, despite such services only being available today to “a very small number of consumers.”
The analyst firm states there were NFC mobile wallet services commercially live in 13 countries worldwide at the end of Q1 2013. “With the exception of a few projects in Asia-Pacific, there are only three NFC mobile wallet services in the world that have an effective addressable market of more than 100,000 people. These three services are Google Wallet and Isis in the US and Turkcell Wallet in Turkey”, said Lars Kurkinen, telecom analyst at Berg.
However, the research firm believes this situation will change substantially during the next few years due to the “massive” rollouts of NFC-enabled phones, NFC-ready POS terminals and TSM solutions.
Berg Insight estimates that total NFC handset sales grew 300 per cent to 140 million units worldwide in 2012. The global installed base of NFC-enabled handsets reached 170 million units in 2012, which corresponds to approximately 3.3 per cent of all mobile handsets in use. Between 2012 and 2017, Berg’s crystal ball gazers expect the installed base of NFC-enabled handsets to grow at a CAGR of 65 per cent to reach 2.1 billion units at the end of the forecast period. The penetration rate for NFC across all handset segments will similarly increase to approximately 32 per cent by 2017.
And Berg believes the global installed base of NFC-ready POS terminals will grow at a CAGR of 46.1 per cent from 6.7 million units in 2012 to 44.6 million units by 2017. Meanwhile, TSM solutions – necessary for securely issuing payment credentials over-the-air to NFC-enabled phones – are being taken into use at an “unprecedented pace by mobile network operators, banks and other companies.” At the end of 2013 there will be around 140 companies that use a TSM solution in commercially live NFC mobile wallet services worldwide, up from only 57 at the end of 2012, according to Berg. The most active region for TSM projects is currently Asia-Pacific, followed by Europe, North America and the Middle East.