Best Buy, 7-Eleven shut down NFC capabilities at stores

March 20, 2014 | By 

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In another blow to adoption of near-field communications (NFC) for mobile payments, Best Buy and 7-Eleven are shutting down NFC capabilities at their stores, according to a report by Mobile Commerce Daily.

Best Buy and 7-Eleven hinted that they might launch branded plays for their mobile payments, the report notes.

“NFC was enabled at some 7-Eleven locations several years ago. As these older PIN pads have been replaced/upgraded, we have chosen not to invest to enable NFC. This decision was made based on several factors, but it is difficult to build the business case given low customer acceptance, transaction costs and other factors ,” Margaret Chabris, director of corporate communications at 7-Eleven, tellsMobile Commerce Daily.

 “For various reasons NFC-based mobile payments options have yet to gain traction, and NFC provides no real benefit to the customer over other less costly options,” Chabris adds.

Isis, a joint venture of Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile, finally rolled out its NFC-based mobile wallet nationally last November after years of delay. Other NFC initiatives have been launched by Pay Pal, Google and the Merchant Customer Exchange, formed by retailers including Best Buy and 7-Eleven.

Due to the struggles of NFC adoption, Strategy Analytics cut its forecast for NFC-based mobile payments from $1 trillion by 2017 to $48 billion by the same year. The research firm cited tepid retailer adoption, slow operator rollouts and limited availability of NFC-capable handsets as the reasons for the revision.

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