I don’t disagree with the headline (see full article here).  The problem for NFC payments has little to do with the state of NFC technology, or the road-map of NFC-enabled handsets, or the POS integration required at merchant sites.  Those issues are either solved (or solving).

The main hurdles for NFC payments are twofold:

  1. a highly complex payment ecosystem of banks, merchant acquirers, and payment processors who must demonstrate regulatory and PCI compliance, flawless security, and adequate payer authentication
  2. and customers’ proclivity to adopt a new mode of payment, e.g. from ‘card-swipe’ to ‘phone-touch’

Ask yourself – would I have to use my phone to complete a payment vs. my credit card? Personally, I think the experience will be novel but only really offer nominally more convenience.

I see the lower hanging fruit for NFC usage to be interactive marketing and advertising.   Users will more quickly adopt a ‘touch here for our…‘ :

  • Coupons
  • Menu
  • Price List
  • Song or Play-list
  • Video or Pictures
  • Games
  • Contact or Directions
  • Facebook Page

As long as customer feels they are receiving information versus providing their most protected banking data, they will be more inclined to initiate an NFC contact.  Agree?