The availability of NFC smartphones — an ingredient many say is necessary for mobile payments systems to take off — may be a less onerous problem by 2014, a report from Juniper Research said.

The U.K. research firm predicted in a report released Thursday that at least one in five smartphones will have near-field communication technology worldwide in the next three years. North America should account for more than half of the 300 million NFC phones Juniper says could be available by then, according to the report.