In a guest post on VentureBeat.com, Scott Snyder, president, chief strategy officer and co-founder of mobile-strategy provider Mobiquity Inc., cautions against calling Near Field Communication (NFC) dead until innovators and end users determine whether the technology has actual value.
Though Snyder agrees NFC mobile payments have been slow to reach critical mass, he contends the market should let innovators take their time creating viable NFC-based solutions and potentially create something on par with what Global Positioning Systems (GPS) have done for mobile devices.
From Snyder’s guest column on VentureBeat.com:
Just like cameras, MP3 audio players, GPS, and accelerometers, NFC must go through its own period of doubt and disillusionment until the market realizes the incredible value that could be delivered by integrating this technology into user handsets and other devices.
It took almost a decade after the release of the first GPS-enabled phone in 1999 for the widespread adoption of consumer mobile applications using GPS. Now we can’t live without it. Imagine applications like Google Maps, Foursquare, Waze, Weatherbug, or MapMyFitness without GPS-enabled location? Sometimes it takes a nudge like governments making it easier to access the GPS signals or handset/OS manufacturers opening up GPS location APIs to developers.
Had it not been for the government requiring more accurate location for E911 services, who knows if the carriers would have ever really pushed for wide-scale adoption of GPS solutions in consumer handsets (other than for network timing in CDMA)? Given how these technologies tend to wander around for a while before hitting a critical inflection point, as GPS did, I wouldn’t count NFC out just yet.
Mercator Advisory Group continues to believe that NFC payments eventually will take off, especially as more merchants add EMV card acceptance at the point of sale to avoid impending liability shifts. Under network rules, any EMV terminals merchants deploy also must accept contactless payments. Apple’s reluctance to include NFC chips in its mobile devices has helped to slow the market, but Apple also knows when the right time to embrace functionality emerges and to make the activity simple and convenient for consumers. With relatively few merchants yet accepting contactless payments, the time, apparently, is not yet right. So go ahead innovators, continue innovating.
Click here to read more from Snyder.