NFC losing mobile payments battle


Not too long ago, NFC-based POS technologies were poised to commanding the action of banks, card networks, tech companies, retailers and others.

But as the battle for mobile payments heats up and as banks ponder their strategies, NFC no longer seems as revolutionary. Google, ISIS and others remain committed to the technology, and there have been some interesting variations, like a phone case-based NFC approach.

However, a bevy of others are bent on revolutionizing offline payments without NFC. PayPal stands as a great example. And Mobile Banker reports that MCX, the retailer consortium pursuing a mobile payments paradigm, will eschew NFC, opting for a strategy that relies on current technologies, such as bar codes, cloud storage and custom software.

In the end, the issue will not matter greatly. I expect more than one general technology to exist early on. The infrastructure should work seamlessly, without any customer worries about standards and technologies. Both paradigms should offer security and basic functionality.

The battle will likely be decided on other issues, such as the customer experience in the store and the offline-online synergies. Banks do not have a lot of time to figure out how to keep their brands relevant and at the top of the winning wallets.

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