Global NFC SIM Shipments More than Double (May 22, 2014)
Despite skepticism that the path to widespread NFC-based mobile payments is in the SIM card, global shipments of NFC-enabled SIM cards more than doubled last year, and the SIMalliance expects such growth to continue. Global NFC SIM shipments reached 78 million in 2013, an increase of 160 percent, compared with 30 million in 2012, according to the London-based nonprofit trade association, which promotes secure mobile services and applications. Of those 78 million, the Japan/Korea region was responsible for 37 million, followed by North America with 24 million and Europe with 14 million.
The shipments in certain parts of the world “clearly indicates that it’s not just one region launching NFC,” Yves Portalier, SIMalliance board member, said this week during a SIMalliance Webinar. “Japan and Korea … now represent significant volumes and in North America, where [use of NFC technology] is more recent, you see significant volumes there, too.”
NFC cynics have been pointing to HCE as a promising new path forward for the mobile payments technology, but global NFC-enabled SIM shipments suggest the dogged efforts by telecoms and other partners might be paying off. SIMalliance responded to such sentiment last month, warning that HCE is no panacea and comes with its own issues that must be addressed.
Portalier also said more than 400 million NFC-enabled phones are projected to be shipped this year, and 53 percent of POS systems globally are expected to be compatible with NFC in 2017.
Earlier this year, SIMalliance Chairman Frédéric Vasnier said, “[With] the expectation that NFC SIM shipments will continue to rise in all advanced markets in 2014 and a critical mass of NFC-enabled handsets and NFC-ready POS terminals gaining ground, the signal is loud and clear: The infrastructure has been laid for the future mass rollout of secure SIM-based NFC services.”
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