According to the new research - Contactless Payments: NFC Handsets, Wearables & Payment Cards 2016-2020 – the industry has already received a strong stimulus from the launch of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay in selected key markets. It cited the case of the recent arrival of Apple Pay in China, where nearly 40 million payment cards were registered to the service in 24 hours in mid-February.
Furthermore, the research argued that with nearly 1 in 5 POS terminals in the US now contactless-capable, the infrastructure was now in place for that market to experience traction. It anticipated that NFC smartphones would be the primary initial driver of contactless payments in the US, given the limited number of cards that currently offer the facility.
The research also anticipated that models based on HCE would be widely deployed by banks and a number of leading OTT (Over The Top) players. It noted that HCE – where credentials and other sensitive data are stored in the cloud – had already been deployed by over 50 financial institutions, including Barclays Bank in the UK.
However, the research was less optimistic about the prospects for solutions based around NFC stickers, arguing that phones using prepaid top-up contactless wallets without a secure element represented a significant security risk. It pointed out that even where closed-loop solutions were employed, thieves could spend the wallet’s balance at participating retail outlets.
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