Best Buy, 7-Eleven disable NFC

NFC took another hit this week as Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) and 7-Eleven began removing the capability to accept payments at POS terminals throughout their store network.

It seems the retailers simply found the expense too high, according to ComputerWorld.

"NFC was enabled at some 7-Eleven locations several years ago," said Margaret Chabris, director of corporate communications at 7-Eleven. "As these older PIN pads have been replaced/upgraded, we have chosen not to invest to enable NFC. This decision was made based on several factors, but it is difficult to build the business case given low customer acceptance, transaction costs and other factors.

Adoption of mobile wallets like Google Wallet and Isis (a joint venture of Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile) has been slow to catch on, and both Best Buy and 7-Eleven are part of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), a group that is expected to proffer a new payment solution based on barcodes. A MCX program would deal yet another blow to NFC.

"There is not much difference between tapping or swiping a card," Chabris told Mobile Commerce Daily. "For various reasons NFC-based mobile payments options have yet to gain traction, and NFC provides no real benefit to the customer over other less costly options. At this time 7-Eleven does not accept mobile payments, but is looking to include this function in the future. We continue to be a strong supporter of MCX and its approach to mobile payments."

The news comes even as retailers continue to opt to provide their own proprietary payment options through mobile apps. Burger King, Wendy's and OpenTable added in-app payment in just the past week.

For more:
-See this Mobile Commerce Daily story
-See this FierceMobileIT story

Related news:
Retailers' Mobile POS use to triple, but current use remains low
Burger King, Wendy's update mobile payment apps

OpenTable to add pay-by-phone, but there are still a few bugs in the system
Mobile payment apps are still bad at failing (but they're getting better)
Mobile wallets hit $500 million in 2012, but that's mostly Starbucks

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