The US has not even adopted EMV on a mass scale but two of its most popular retailers 7 Eleven and Best Buy are already set to turn off NFC.
Now the reasons behind this are many and plentiful – NFC transactions cost more, and there is a veritable turf war between Google and ISIS making the market place a mine field for merchants.
NFC has always had its problems – the thought of dragging your $500 + smartphone across countertops / POS system has never been that desirable a prospect but what if this was all retail propaganda?
There are rumours that the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), which has names such as Target, Walmart and of course 7 Eleven and Best Buy on its books, is creating its own payment platform in the space. It would make sense for these merchants to give the cold shoulder to the soon to be competitors Google and ISIS.
Now I’m not here to point fingers or get in the middle of a domestic (I’m not an advocate of NFC for very technological reasons) but this idea of technology changing ownership is not new – lest we forget the reinvention which Nokia had to go through when the computer giants of the world went for the mobile phone market. In this context the payment platform designed by the retailers for the retailers doesn’t sound all that crazy.
The one constant though is that mobile will be at the centre of it all.
David Pope, Marketing Director