When it comes to mobile payments by consumers, you have a tale of two worlds. At least that is where the mobile payments marketplace was in the past. On one hand, operators could utilize NFC (Near Field Communication), which boasts approximately 400 million NFC-enabled devices and hopes to grow to an estimated one billion by 2016. On the other hand, you have Bluetooth devices, which account for around three billion devices annually.
Now, the future has arrived and the two options may soon be one and the same. In an unprecedented move designed to secure a brighter future in the world of m-commerce, both of these mainstay entities have developed an alliance.
The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association that advances the use of NFC technology, and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the trade association responsible for the development, promotion, and protection of the Bluetooth® specification and brand, announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that will enable the two organizations to work more closely together, via a formal liaison relationship.
This camaraderie between the two organizations is designed to create an environment of collaboration. The goals are simple. Each wants to grow its market exposure. By combining efforts, each will have the chance to "evaluate opportunities to enhance interoperability and the user experience of devices that use their technologies," according to an NFC Forum statement.
With an estimated $235.4 billion globally in mobile payment transactions in 2013, there is plenty of opportunity for each to reap the bounty of financial rewards such a partnership could create.
Mobile Payment Apps Are Still Bad At Failing (But They're Getting Better)
Isis Promises iPhone, End-Of-Year Nationwide Launch
Google Wallet Stepping up Mobile Loyalty
Future of M-Payments Uncertain, NFC or Not
How Google Plans to Transform Mobile Payments