NFC – the mobile war

The battle of Near Field Communication (NFC) doesn’t quite have the same ring as Hastings or Waterloo, but like all game-changing territorial campaigns, the fight for NFC dominance is likely to cost many a man his wallet. Quite literally.

As Google unveiled the much anticipated Google Wallet NFC a few days ago, the search engine giant has thrown open the floor for mobile payment methods to all banking and secure transaction partners in an attempt to “make it possible for you to add all of your payment cards to Google Wallet.” Other will no doubt follow suit, confident that there is now demand for mobile payment services.

Visa has granted Google a worldwide license to use Visa PayWave technology, meaning Visa cardholders will be able to ‘go mobile’ at thousands of payment points across America.

Considering this, it’s clear that some of the key players are trying to protect their walled garden and importantly, the money they currently generate from transaction fees.

What’s interesting is that, on the one hand, incumbents with MNOs and banks are teaming up together hosting applications from banks in their SIM card. On the other, however, it’s evident that companies elsewhere are looking at mobile payment as a way to enter the lucrative mobile coupon market, alongside third world services. We’ve already opened the floor to debate about what the actual key drivers of NFC will be in terms of services.

Vice President of Payments at Google, Osama Bedier, made it paramount that the Google Wallet platform will be open for all banks when he thanked Citi and Mastercard for being launch partners, but turned immediately to the addition of Visa, Discover and American Express specifications in the future.  Additionally, Paypal is offering alternative mobile payment solutions.

Google may have drawn the battle lines, but there will be any number of players hoping to eventually win the war.

Let battle commence.

 

 

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