China is shaping up to be one of the biggest mobile payment markets to play for in coming years, with predictions NFC transaction values will hit at least $8 billion (€5.6 billion) by 2014.
ABI Research notes that financial institutions – including China UnionPay – and third-party mobile payment service providers are already competing to take a slice of the “burgeoning” mobile payments industry, but that the market will ultimately be defined by mobile network operators.
The country’s three main mobile operators – China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom – already have mobile payment ambitions, with China Unicom having committed to launching commercial NFC services.
However, currently more NFC add-ons are being sold in China than NFC handsets, the research firm states. In 2010, there were 2.5 million shipments of SIMpass contactless payment SIM cards alone, but just 45,000 phone shipments.
Frost & Sullivan recently forecast the global NFC payment market could be worth €110 billion by 2015.