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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : January 31, 2013

Number of NFC-enabled smartphones in Australia to skyrocket 467%

The iPhone 5's lack of Near Field Communication (NFC) hardware doesn't look like it will hold back growth in the nascent contactless mobile phone payment method in Australia, according to new figures released by Tapit.

by Helen Leggatt

small-tapit-logo.jpgSydney-based NFC specialists Tapit forecast that the number of NFC-enabled smartphones in Australia will rise significantly by the end of the first quarter of 2013.

Using their own data, along with insights from GFK and Google, Tapit estimates numbers will rise 467% from Q1 2012's 375,000 NFC-enabled smartphones to 2.125 million by the end of Q1 2013.

By the end of 2013, Tapit expects there to be 4 million NFC-enabled mobile devices in Australia among the country's population of 22.9 million.

However, while more mobile consumers will be armed with the ability to engage with NFC-technology, Tapit's head of operations and co-founder, Andrew Davis, doesn't believe marketers are prepared, or educated enough, to jump aboard, estimating brand uptake to be no higher than 20%.

"Like any new technology that has come before not everyone gets educated at the same speed and there will be brands who are way more educated than others," Davis told B&T. "Typically they are the ones who are always slightly more ahead of the curve."

In the fourth quarter of 2012, Australian banking group ANZ began an NFC payments field trial, announcing plans to launch a commercial service sometime later this year.

Tags: Australia, mobile payments, near field communications, NFC-enabled

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