VIDEO INTERVIEW: NFC was never going to take off rapidly, according to Philip Yen, group head of emerging payments for MasterCard (APAC and MEA). Speaking to Mobile World Live in a recent interview, Yen likened NFC to the introduction of another new payments technology – the upgrade of plastic cards from magnetic-stripes to chip and pin.

“In almost all of the countries that went down that path, it took about 10 years from planning to ubiquitous usage,” said Yen. “That’s because merchants needed to make [IT] changes and think through [how they wanted to adopt it].”

The same applies for NFC, argues Yen: “Merchants need to upgrade their systems, and banks and telcos need to work out their business models. All these factors take time.”

Mobile payments, using other technologies, are nonetheless showing signs of more immediate growth. Click here to watch the whole interview in which Yen outlines the progress across Asia of MasterPass, MasterCard’s wallet payment system that allows mobile phones to scan barcodes and QR codes.