Forecast: NFC-enabled mobile payments to eclipse $180B by 2017

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Near Field Communications-enabled mobile retail payments are on track to exceed $180 billion by 2017--a seven-fold increase over 2012--according to a new Juniper Research forecast.

Juniper credits the expected growth to a series of recent turning points including the launch of the Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Wallet tap-and-pay service, manufacturer commitments to integrate NFC support into smartphones, technology infrastructure standardization and a host of NFC payment pilots and commercial services spearheaded by both mobile operators and financial institutions. Current projections indicate more than one in four mobile users in the U.S. and Western Europe will pay in-store using NFC in 2017, Juniper anticipates.

However, the research firm warns that not all segments of the mobile commerce ecosystem are on the same page, stating merchants remain unconvinced that NFC payments offer significant benefits over existing payment processing technologies and are currently unwilling to invest in contactless infrastructure. Juniper argues that other ecosystem players must educate retailers and promote win-win propositions for NFC to flourish.  

"This is a critical time for the NFC retail payments market," said report author Windsor Holden. "Despite the significant progress being made today, the full potential of the market can only be fulfilled if all ecosystem players are equally committed and mobile wallet consortia remain in place."

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