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News

Report on future of contactless mobile transactions

Berg Insight : 21 May, 2008  (New Product)
Analysis from Berg Insight examines the role and development of near field communications for mobile transactions
According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, technologies such as NFC are enabling a completely new segment of mobile applications - proximity services or local services - but the industry first needs to settle several critical technical and pedagogic issues. The market is still guarded and fragmented, but in the long term consumers will not accept to handle multiple devices, cards, accounts and passwords. A long-term pragmatic view and initial cooperation is necessary to enable the paradigm shift that will morph the mobile phone into a terminal for communicating with intelligent objects in the environment.

"Local contact-less services are already available to over 50 million mobile users that can shop, travel and get information by just waving their phones over readers", said Sabine Ehlers, associate analyst, Berg Insight. In Japan for example the service is well-established and a great success in terms of number of readers installed, service partners linked and subscriber terminals in use. When it comes to actually applying the technology however, the mass of consumers apparently need time to change deep-rooted behaviours. In Europe the development is held back by uncertainty about business models and the lack of coordination between different players. Especially mobile operators regard the new business field with caution due to its lack of obvious revenues for network owners. Berg Insight does however identify several important contributions from the operators, and reasons why they cannot afford to stay outside this exciting new field. The report gives a thorough technical background to the contact-less mobile field, identifies the best strategies for initial services and how to progress from there, and discusses experiences from a large number of trials and services from around the world.

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