Re: Mobile Payments Inheriting the Problems of Contactless [Dec. 23].
I agree there well may be short-term benefits with subsidies in assisting retailers/merchants in upgrading terminals to test NFC. However, the comment from Troy Bernard is most pertinent.
There has to be a significant differentiator and value proposition for merchants to embrace it long-term. Thus the problems with smart cards and contactless in the pastwas it really going to generate more sales?
Bernard's comments about mobile commerce being enabled because of an "NFC device being [a] differentiator ... from its contactless card predecessor in that it has two-way communication at the point of sale and location-based services so merchants can deliver real-time offers is spot on. That's where we see a lot more promise in NFC."
Merchants can leverage location-based services to deliver timely, targeted and relevant spurt campaigns or offers (deals/incentives) to drive foot traffic and sales. That is the differentiator and catalyst that will help with this adoption long-term much more than subsidies.
The opportunity to deliver mobile offers/coupons at the right time, to the right person via the right channel is the lynchpin and turning point to drive mobile commerce. The consumers' ability to get a deal, smartly, is both viral and contagious in driving spending behaviors merchants want and may yet prove to be the catalyst to drive mobile commerce and merchant adoption of NFC terminals even as Apple and Google/Android make moves to incorporate it into their next generation of handsets.