We’ve been hearing that smartphones will transform into mobile wallets “any year now” for at least the past five years. But with the introduction of the Google Nexus S, Google Wallet, the ISIS initiative, and a handful of smartphones with integrated NFC, it looks like the technology is finally poised to take off. According to Taiwanese phone makers, more than 50% of all smartphones will include NFC within the next 2-3 years. That comes as no surprise: Google’s latest Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) operating system has support for NFC built-in, a number of BlackBerry smartphones offer NFC, the Galaxy S II models on AT&T and T-Mobile have some form of dorment NFC support, and the brand new Samsung Galaxy Nexus also supports the technology. The delay in adoption, DigiTimes said, can be attributed to the current ecosystem and standard specification. Read on for more.
As it stands, ISIS — which is an initiative with American Express, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless and AT&T on board — is competing with the Google Wallet standard used by Sprint, MasterCard and a number of retailers who already have point-of-sale systems deployed. In addition, carriers, retailers, manufacturers, banks, credit card companies and more all need to reach agreements on who will get paid a percentage of sales. In any case, we’re excited to see the day when more retail outlets begin accepting payments from mobile phones, and 2-3 years from now doesn’t seem that far off.