In your article ’Consumers use smart phones to make tills ring’ (MW last week) it was highlighted that, while online sales using mobile phones are rising, m-commerce has yet to fully challenge other sales channels.
However, that is about to change. Over the next 12 to 18 months the mobile phone is going to undergo a metamorphosis and become a much more active purchasing tool thanks to the introduction of mobile payments m-payments as a result of near field communications technology.
FC will enable mobile phone users to tap on payment terminals to buy everything from travel tickets to consumables. The next generation of smart phones being launched this year will be installed with NFC so that they can be used much like a contactless debit card or Oyster card.
M-payments should be considerably quicker than Chip and Pin and cash transactions, which means consumers spend less time queuing and retailers gain greater through traffic and improved customer experiences.
I believe 2011 will be the year NFC m-payments for mobile phones takes off. Initially, I expect m-payments to be for things like travel and events where security and convenience are high on the agenda. Being able to tap’n’pay with your handset will mean mobile phone users won’t have to carry around a wallet full of cards and cash.
Neil GarnerChief executive