NFC payments become available to millions of new users

Last updated: 20 March 2014

This week we announced that we would be providing and operating the global Trusted Service Management (TSM) platform and NFC services for Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest mobile communications service providers.

Secure and convenient ‘wave and pay’ contactless transactions are going to become more and more common as handsets flow into the market from a wave of manufacturers and providers, each high levels of security at their heart.

For it to become not only a boon for retail, but a global phenomenon that could forever change the way we pay for things on the move, we need to end the chicken and the egg cycle that the industry has been experiencing for the last few years. Our work with Vodafone Group includes allowing its subsidiaries and third party service providers, such as banks, transport operators and retailers, to seamlessly plug into a secure and reliable NFC ecosystem.

This in turns allows for closer integration and a better service for businesses and customers alike, which will promote growth in the available infrastructure. NFC is already being used to transfer media between two devices, as Samsung’s latest tongue-in-cheek commercial shows.

Secure wireless communications can also be used for access control, giving you authorized access to your office, or potentially even your home and your car. Travelers in South Korea and Hong Kong have been using contactless travel cards for fifteen years, but these could soon become commonplace across the developed world, incorporated into your smartphone so you’re never left stranded should the card slip out your wallet.

But it’s mobile payments that are generating the most excitement for businesses and customers alike, with good reason. First of all, you will be able to tap your phone to an NFC tag on a particular product advert that appeals to you. You can then visit the store to buy the product without the need for cash, and receive loyalty points instantly updated to your NFC wallet. All in one simple, seamless system, with the same level of security as EMV bank cards.

Point-of-sale access for mobile NFC payments will only continue to grow and our work with Vodafone will extend this capability to millions of mobile users around the world. More and more smartphones with NFC capabilities built in, so it’s not difficult to see that the future’s bright for contactless communications.

As you can see in the infographic too, Juniper Research predicts 1.8 billion people (about a quarter of the global population) are now making mobile payments and that, by 2017, the value of mobile NFC payments made will reach $191 billion. The possibility of a cashless society has moved another step closer.