Mobile-contactless payments have long been widely predicted to be on the verge of exploding, but the boom as of yet has not been felt in the marketplace. While we’ve heard it before, Juniper research predicts that soon we will all see it as well. In a newly released report, the firm predicts that more than 50 percent of wallets in developed markets – and more than a third globally – expected to rely on contactless technology by 2018.
“From a contactless payments perspective, we expect to see two key disruptive factors at work over the next few years,” said Windsor Holden, research director at Juniper Research, Hampshire, Britain. “The first is HCE, which enables the creation of a secure element which can be based in the cloud rather than on the SIM or embedded in the handset.”
HCE is an alternative to NFC, which has been slow to gain traction in the marketplace since integrating with NFC presents some technological challenges for non-telecom companies.
More important in leading the mWallet explosion will likely be Apple, notes Britain, which has the potential to bring along a large base of customers that might otherwise be uninterested in mobile payments.
“The second factor will be the iWallet,” he said. “While Apple opted not to include NFC in the iPhone 5, I’d expect the iPhone 6 to feature some kind of contactless payment mechanism – although probably reliant on BLE/Wi-Fi air interfaces rather than NFC. While this will certainly be competing with the various NFC iterations, it should provide a boost to the wider contactless payment market, in exactly the same way that Apple gave apps in general a fillip with its App Store.”
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