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NFC: big hit or near miss?

Sarah Putt | Nov. 22, 2012
Near Field Communications promises to be a technology as disruptive as the application ecosystems built around iOS, Android and, possibly, Windows 8.

Szikszai says that some prototype services have created a PIN number for transactions but that this can impair the customer experience. An audience member pointed out that the customer couldn't set the dollar limit themselves and the way that NFC was deployed was often controlled by the banks, rather then by the customers.

Szikszai is pushing for common standards throughout the Asia Pacific region for mobile wallets.

Finally, panellists were asked what role the Google Wallet might play in the adoption of NFC here.

The telco/banking view is that Google is interested in other markets and that it doesn't have the ability to create an inclusive ecosystem to enable mobile wallets here. Naffah maintains that New Zealand should determine its own NFC destiny.

The Snapper view is that as we live in an interconnected world, we can't ignore Google and that strategies designed to exclude it won't work.

It was also pointed out that the biggest problem that the banks and telcos have with Google Wallet is that its service is free.

And that, for me, was the most telling statement in the discussion. New technologies are disruptive. The banks and telcos must be worried.

While talk of standards and ecosystems are important -- how much of this is designed to keep challengers out?

As Frost and Sullivan analyst Andrew Milroy told a telco conference I attended earlier this year -- banks and telcos no longer see each other as competition, it's Google, Apple and Amazon that make them nervous. As we see the mobile wallet being marketed in New Zealand in the next two years, it might pay to keep Milroy's view in mind.

 

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