If operators are to realize the aforementioned potential and become players in the value chain, this is wholly dependent on the availability of appropriate devices for consumers to actually make mobile payments with. This is a major problem for operators. There is a paucity of NFC-enabled handsets on the market, and those which are capable of using SWP are almost non-existent, bar the Samsung Star (which was used in a contactless payments trial at the 2010 Mobile World Congress to demonstrate the concept to attendees). Nokia pulled the plug on its 6216 SWP handset in February 2010, less than 12 months after it was revealed to the world, citing the current state of both the NFC ecosystem and the technical components required to build SWP into devices as factors in its decision. Interestingly, Nokia also felt that the quality of the consumer experience was not good enough.
Ovum believes banks should keep a watching brief at this stage. Re-drawing the mobile banking strategic roadmap is not currently required.
The author is an Ovum analyst.
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