Near Field Communication (NFC)-based payments may have “passed its sell-by date,” and British retailing group Tesco may introduce a wallet that focuses on marketing and loyalty that may not have a payment element, a Tesco executive reportedly told an audience this week at the Mobile Payments and Value Added Services 2013 conference in London.
From NFC World:
“Is mobile NFC at the right place, at the right time? I don’t see any real movement or activity. NFC usability is not really revolutionary and, for the general public, is it really that cool? I think the next generation won’t think it’s cool enough for them and they won’t use it.– Lyndon Lee, Tesco enterprise consultant architect
In an interview with NFC World after his presentation, Lee said: “Mobile NFC is unappealing. Contactless cards, I have no doubt about. They work now and they have no difficulties, but mobile NFC is very challenging and not easy.”
Lee’s comments echo the views of various merchants that don’t necessarily see payment support as a necessity in mobile wallets. Instead, they view geo-location technology, and the ability for NFC chips to support the two-way exchange of loyalty rewards and sales and marketing messages as more important elements to meet their goals, chief of which is to get more customers in their doors. As such, if merchants won’t embrace NFC in a country such as England where EMV contactless already is commonly accepted, NFC may face similar difficulty gaining widespread merchant-wallet support in the U.S.
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