The global financial crisis hit nearly four years ago in 2008 but America and Europe appear to still be stuck in the mud. Even the Asian market has softened. But is this a recession? Or are we seeing a reconfiguration of the economy as the technological seeds laid over the last few generations finally germinated and bear fruit? Prices for made goods are collapsing as the cost of manufacturing has plummeted, while the cost of sourcing and distribution has crashed, caught between globalisation and the Internet. Even innovation, the source of all those sexy new products, has been democratised with the investment required to development new products taking a nosedive. Our existing business models were not designed to thrive, or even survive, this this environment. While the current market is a challenge to navigate, a lot of the problems we're seeing could be result of a collapse of antiquated business models rather than the collapse in demand that these businesses are intended to service.
Do NFC payments – with their tap-and-go simplicity – herald a revolution of the shopping experience? Or is NFC just an attempt to force more of our daily transactions onto payments platforms where their owners can claim a usage tax? The sales pitch is a promise of simpler, faster and more secure payments, allowing us to grab our goods and quickly get on with what we were doing. The reality is that the payment is only responsible for a small portion of the time wasted during the buying journey. Other trends we're seeing have much more potential to revolutionise the shopping experience, and they do this by moving the purchase away from the till to allow consumers to transact where and whenever they need. The huge investment in NFC means we can expect to see NFC terminals at most of the shops we frequent. However, at the same time we can expect NFC to be quickly eclipsed by other solutions which do a much better job of streamlining the buying journey.