NFC. An absolute necessity in developed markets, is the use of contactless technology. We haven’t seen too many successful NFC implementations in emerging markets, but, given that NFC is merely a technology that sits on top of the wallet, there is no reason why NFC won’t become equally as popular in emerging markets, as more smartphones are sold in these countries. All NFC does, is enable the transaction to take place quickly. That same transaction could take place using SMS / a Java app (selecting an option from a menu), USSD or on a PoS device. NFC merely enables a swift and painless communication to be initiated between the mobile phone and the terminal. Because NFC only acts over a very small physical space, the chances of erroneous transactions being processed is highly unlikely (that would not be the case if wi-fi was being used – the transaction could easily be charged to the wrong mobile phone account). In developed markets, we are used to ‘chip and pin’ transactions which are swift, and anything that took longer, or required more effort, would not be well received; hence the need for NFC technology when using your phone to transact. In emerging markets, where people are used to a slightly more time-consuming ‘send money’, ‘buy goods’ or pay bill’ service, NFC readers in stores would definitely be welcomed with open arms for the ‘buy goods’ solution.
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