Master Thesis Summary

2011: Mobile contactless payments entering Europe

Background
In December 2010, Google and Samsung launched the Nexus S. One feature of the Nexus S is that it uses NFC technology.

NFC, or Near Field Communication, is a truly disruptive innovation built on a technology of a short-range high frequency wireless communication, which enables the exchange of data between devices. Today, the technology is mostly used in transport systems around the world. However, it has been argued that NFC has huge potential to be integrated and widely used in contactless mobile payment systems.

The smartphone adoption in Europe is growing rapidly. In the EU5; UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, the smartphone adoption has grown 41 percent in the past year to 60.8 million subscribers. The UK market has experienced a growth of smart phone adoption over the past year, increasing 70% to more than 11 million subscribers.

At the same time, the payment ecosystem is going through a radical transformation. Consumers are shifting towards more sophisticated technology using prepaid cards, contactless cards, multifunction cards, unattended terminals, e-money and mobile payments.

Just as Google and Samsung, other players are starting to announce their participation in the new mobile payment industry. To only mention a few, these players are Apple, Everything Everywhere, Ericsson, M-PESA and sQuid.

Problem
Even if there in recent years have been an ongoing buzz regarding the introduction of contactless mobile payments, there are implications which are delaying the adoption.

First, there are currently many unclear business models provided by the financial players throughout the value chain. The lack of standardized models prolongs the successful implementation of mobile contactless payments.

Secondly, in order for payment solutions to break significant ground, the consumers’ existing payment habits need to change, which is a time consuming process that require consistency and patience.

Moreover, the various stakeholders have many different perspectives when regarding the potential value of contactless mobile payments and the market is highly fragmented. These stakeholders include card scheme networks, financial institutes, handset manufacturers, POS-terminal manufacturers, merchants, mobile operators etc.

Purpose
The purpose of this research is to investigate and understand the transforming ecosystem of the mobile payment market within Europe, its complete value chain, constellation and evolution. The focus area will be on mobile contactless payment systems built on NFC technology.

As part of our methodology, we are conducting a case-study on Google. As mentioned above, Google recently launched the Nexus S with integrated NFC. The purpose of the case-study is therefore to present a market analysis of how Google strategically should enter the European market within the field of mobile contactless payments.

Vision
The vision of this research is to investigate and understand the future role of mobile contactless payment systems in Europe. A sub target is to contribute to the growing global field of research within mobile contactless payment systems, and help Google by recommending a strategy to achieve a competitive position within this new evolving market.

Interested?
Does our field of study interest you or your company? Please send us an email to marie.lagstrom@gmail.com or download the master thesis paper here!

Thank you!

Marie & Emelie

  1. Hi, « the Future of Money

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