U.K.-based Juniper Research has issued a new report on the future of NFC payments. According to Juniper, payments using near-field communication technologies on smartphones will account for $74 billion by 2015. That's triple the estimated value of the market in 2011, Juniper said.

"Our report demonstrates the spectacular growth we see across all segments of the mobile commerce market," said the report's author David Snow in a statement. "Four of these segments (money transfer, physical goods, NFC and coupons) will more than treble in transaction value over the next three years, whilst digital goods, banking and tickets will still on average, double over the same period."

While that growth rate is certainly impressive and sure to be used to bolster arguments about the eventual success of NFC as a payment-enabling technology on smartphones, it's still just a fraction of the whole payment market. With total payment volume on all types of credit, debit and prepaid cards in 2010 at more than $9.6 trillion, $74 billion represents less that 1 percent of current transactions.  

But according to the report, growth in mobile commerce won't be limited to NFC. Money transfers, banking, payments and coupons are all expected to see significant growth rates, Juniper said.

The company also issued a warning to the mobile commerce industry. Juniper said security issues, both perceived and real, could set the entire industry back if users lose trust in mobile commerce.

Some other highlights of the Juniper report include:

  • Reliable, "old" SMS text messaging is "the key" to adoption of mobile banking services.
  • Interoperability issues between mobile money transfer services are important to gaining "critical mass." Without it, services will struggle.
  • Mobile couponing is showing the most robust growth rate across mobile commerce services.

For more stories like this, visit the Trends/Statistics research center.

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