The US will have the world's highest density of NFC point-of-sale terminals in five years time, the forecasters say, as the global installed base increases from 3.9m today to 43.4m in 2017.
The market for NFC-ready POS terminals "grew fiercely" in 2011 with annual shipments doubling to an estimated 2.5 million units worldwide, according to a new research report from Berg Insight.
A total of 3.9m NFC-ready POS terminals were installed globally by the end of 2011, Berg says, and the number is due to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 49.4% to reach 43.4m units in 2017.
"This corresponds to an increase in the penetration rate from 8% in 2011 to 53% in 2017," Berg explains. "The penetration rate is projected to be highest in North America where an estimated 86% of the terminals will be NFC-ready by 2017. The penetration rate in Europe and the rest of the world will be 78% and 38% respectively."
"The rapid growth was driven by a transition in the NFC-payments ecosystem from performing trials to accelerating the rollout of NFC-ready payment infrastructure, in preparation for the arrival of NFC-based mobile payment services," say the forecasters.
"Mobile wallet services will create an unprecedented opportunity for retailers to interact with consumers in real-time while their purchasing decisions are being formed, for instance by delivering personalised offers in real-time while consumers are inside the shop", says Lars Kurkinen, telecom analyst at Berg Insight.