This year, 101 million people worldwide are expected to use NFC (Near Field Communication) contactless payment services on a mobile device. However, that figure is expected to increase to 516 million mobile users by the end of 2019.
The growth is forecast in a new report from Juniper Research, which expects Apple’s introduction of the NFC-based Apple Pay service to stimulate the marketplace.
The Apple Watch, which supports the Apple Pay service
It also notes that that NFC solutions utilising HCE (Host Card Emulation), which doesn’t need a special SIM card or network-supplied handset, are gaining traction within the banking sector. Banks in Spain and Australia have already launched commercial services, with pilot schemes being operated in countries including Russia and New Zealand.
Dr Windsor Holden, research director at Juniper Research and the author of the report, said “We would envisage that while NFC deployments and consumer activity will be buoyed by these developments, the opportunities for network operator involvement are limited. Hence we are likely to see more operators re-evaluating their existing commitments to NFC and possibly withdrawing from the space.”
Three-quarters of all smartphones worldwide are expected to contain an NFC controller chip by the end of the decade, according to the Juniper Research report.