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NFC to See 33 Percent Adoption in 12 Months, Claims Google's Schmidt

Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman and former CEO of Google, is no stranger to strong claims. Some of those claims came to fruition while other fizzled, so it’s not as though he presents oracle-like prediction of the industry trends. That said, it’s still worthwhile to pay attention to both his thoughts and his cited reasons when it comes to upcoming technologies. One Google technology that has been little more than a blip on the radar is Google Wallet, but Schmidt claims that NFC payment will see 33 percent adoption in payment terminals within a year.

His statements were made at the Cannes Lion ad conference, where Schmidt stated that the credit card companies were likely to push the technology forward “because the fraud rates are so much lower [...] it’s in their interests to convert as fast as they humanly can.” The lower fraud rate would be due to both the verifiable presence of the phone in the store on top of the secure PIN for payment processing and the NFC technology itself, which Google stands behind as a highly secure option.

This isn’t the first time that NFC processing has been tried, but most “tap to pay” services in the past simply weren’t worth the user-end investment. With the broad adoption of smartphones and the standard upgrades at the end of the cellular carrier contract, many users will be walking around with NFC in their pocket within a couple years. It may make terminal upgrades far more logical than it has been previously. With the technology in place, Schmidt says the infrastructure should change quickly. The time for infrastructure upgrades is “on the order of a year. It’s not a week, it’s not a month, but it’s also not five years,” said Schmidt.