PayPal: 'NFC will fail to gain mass adoption' in 2013

PayPal's president reveals the payments providers predictions for 2013, and NFC is still expected to miss the mark.

Mobile commerce has made considerable strides in the last year or two, but 2013 could be the year where it goes mainstream. What stands in the way is determining which strategies and technologies resonate the most with consumers.

In a blog post on Monday, PayPal president David Marcus offered his forecast for the payments industry in 2013.

One of the chief predictions on his list revolves around Near Field Communications (NFC), which has struggled to take off (at least in e-commerce terms) despite a lot of media attention.

Broadcom execs recently predicted during a CES 2013 preview event that NFC for other purposes will takeoff next year, but mobile commerce uses might not be commonplace for at least a few more years.

Marcus seems pretty steadfast in rejecting NFC for mobile commerce altogether, arguing that it will both "fail to gain mass adoption" and "slowly die in 2013."

"Is tapping a phone on a terminal any easier than swiping a credit card?" Marcus continued, "I don’t think so – it’s not solving a real consumer problem and its not providing additional value to encourage me (or anyone else for that matter) to change my behavior."

Positing that "2013 will be the year that we will truly see disruption in the shopping and payments space," here's a glance at some of Marcus's other projections:

  • "Payments will finally merge with loyalty and rewards" in a more uniform fashion.
  • Cash registers will drop the wires and go mobile.
  • Location- and context-relevant shopping will become more of a priority for retailers and marketers.

Some of these might seem easier said than done. For instance, businesses need to budget considerably if they're going to break from existing infrastructures to go the mobile point-of-sale route using tablets and other devices. Additionally, it still remains to be seen what Marcus means by merging payments with rewards programs better.

Nevertheless, as consumers use their mobile devices more for shopping ( just look at Cyber Monday this year ), then it is really time for businesses to get more serious about their mobile commerce strategies.