NFC is the predicted alternate payment system in the near future as more payment services are investing in it. While Apple did not incorporate NFC in its soon-to-be-released iPhone 5, companies like MasterCard still believes in the potential of Near Field Communication. MasterCard reportedly released a software development kit for its patented mobile PayPass technology that will run on BlackBerry OS 7 and Android platforms. The said toolkit will give third-party developers and mobile operators the ability to incorporate support for MasterCard’s “tap-and-go” mobile payments using smartphones and other similar devices.
The kit would also hasten the time to sell the company’s NFC-based mobile payment technology. The kit is a set of tools the developers can use to create their apps with NFC-enabled capability and a full user interface. MasterCard reveals that there are now more than 70 devices that are compatible with PayPass, including the Samsung flagship Galaxy S3, HTC One X, BlackBerry Bold 9900, and Sony Xperia S. Nokia’s Symbian as well as Windows Phone are two other platforms being considered as Apple’s iPhone has foregone NFC for good.
The toolkit includes API documentation, API code libraries, sample UI application code, a developer guide, a test suite for compliance, and a white-label reference UI application. The list ensures that developers have all the needed tools to allow PayPass technology to be fully integrated into a range of different interfaces like mobile banking apps, mobile payment apps, or mobile wallets. The while-labeling option will ensure that banks can create their own branded apps that support contactless payments through MasterCard. To further stir interest for developers, MasterCard also announced that the approval process is now more efficient.
According to estimates from Juniper Research, MasterCard’s PayPass is accepted throughout the world, and by 2014, there will be around 300 million devices capable of NFC technology. Another technology research firm predicted that there will be around $617 billion mobile payments by 2016 alone. However, many analysts think that the key player for faster propagation of NFC technology remains to be the most valuable company in the world, Apple. It is difficult to ignore the impact Apple has even if there will be millions of other NFC-enabled devices in the United States alone. Even if all Android devices will support NFC, the massive customer base of Apple can pose a big challenge in creating some form of a consensus on payment standards.
So far, the first customer of MasterCard in North America is the Bank of Montreal. It is the only bank in Canada which agreed on “tap-and-go” mobile payment. MasterCard is trying to woo European clients to use the technology including a five-year deal with Everything Everywhere. Both companies have agreed to develop a contactless NFC payment option. Other companies like the German Deutsche Telekom and Turkish Turkcell are also working on the project. MasterCard is also working with the first commercial NFC payment service in the United Kingdom, Orange on QuickTap.