Wireless carriers are likely to see their role in NFC revenue diminish, according to a new report from Juniper Research.
“The report, NFC Mobile Payments: Apple Pay, Host Card Emulation & SIM Based Opportunities & Forecasts 2014-2019, forecasts that just three percent of NFC mobile payments customers will be controlled by wireless carriers in North America by 2019. Given recent developments, Juniper expects wireless carriers to reevaluate their existing commitments to NFC and possibly to withdraw from the space,” according to a story in Mobile Commerce Daily. “‘With MNO-led ventures still struggling to establish themselves, MNOs [mobile network operators or wireless carriers] face the danger of being bypassed by FIs and, in North America, by Apple,’ said Dr. Windsor Holden, head of consultancy and forecasting at Juniper Research, and author of the report. ‘In the latter region, we believe that just 3 percent of customers will be controlled by the MNOs by 2019,’ he said.”
The biggest carrier play for the NFC space—ISIS, now renamed Softcard, the group created by AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA—is struggling. Juniper projects that “the proportion of NFC secure elements controlled by wireless carriers is likely to fall below 50 percent by 2019.”
This all comes at a time when NFC payments—pushed aggressively by Apple Pay and Google’s HCE—are expected to soar. Juniper is projecting more than 500 million NFC payment users by 2019, a huge jump from the 101 million such users projected for 2014.