Reading an article on Fourth Source entitled
I couldn't help but think the NFC technology described in the article is so far off the current year we live in, at least for the UK. NFC payments seem like a brilliant idea, particularly for public transport, and while all London buses may be accepting contactless payments by the end of 2012, how many people will actually be embracing the technology? And how long will it be before contactless payments become the norm on public transport for someone who lives outside of London? I can guarantee we'll be waiting a lot longer than the end of 2012. Even if the contactless technology does come into place, the chances of 1/5 of the public having NFC enabled smartphones by the end of 2014 seems slim. And another solution posed by Barclaycard seems to suggest that they realise this will be the case, offering borrowers the chance of using contactless payments without the NFC enabled smartphone.
Even if you did decide to get an NFC enabled smartphone and use it for payments, it is likely that the technology will become fragmented with too many providers and payment systems, which is already something of a trend considering Orange, Visa/Vodafone and Mastercard all have separate services in the UK, and there will likely be more to come. This will only create more confusion for consumers and deter them from the technology.
Another thing to consider is the simple factor of: will people want the technology? I personally work in retail in the UK and it is amazing to see such a high amount of people every day having trouble using Chip & Pin, technology which has been around for years. I could never imagine these people wanting to take the time to set up a payment system on their mobile phones.
I'm always embracing new technology, but in the case of NFC payments via mobile, I think it will be at least 5 years before it is used effectively in the UK.
Google Wallet, an NFC mobile payment system, is said to be available for the 2012 Olympics.