NFC Will "Never" Lead U.S. Mobile Payments?

Virtually every banking-related or payments-related initiative in the United States has to begin with an understanding of how the U.S. market is different from others. The high use of credit cards, compared to most other markets, is one such distinction.

The ubiquity of the banking infrastructure is another example. The way consumers pay for retail purchases is another key underpinning realities.

Put simply, mobile banking is shaped by the fact that "access to banks" is not generally a problem. Nor, generally speaking, is "paying for retail purchases." So many would note one requirement for retail mobile payments success is adding new value to a process that is not fundamentally broken.

Likewise, as ecosystem participants scramble to gain influence and control over the new processes, communication methods are seen as a way of gaining such influence. Some observers have confidence in near field communications, while others think other approaches might win the day. 

You can count Forrester Research senior analyst Denee Carrington as among those who are skeptical about NFC. Carrington says she does not expect NFC to ever takeover the mobile wallet space.

NFC might well be crucial for other retail applications and experiences, though. 

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