Consumers by 2012 will make Near Field Communication-enabled and similar transactions worth at least $30 billion (21 billion euros), up from $8 billion in 2009, according to projections from United Kingdom-based Juniper Research.

The figures include NFC-like transactions in Japan in which consumers use contactless applications on mobile phones to pay for transit and retail purchases, along with NFC-enabled or NFC-like stickers that consumers in other countries can affix to mobile devices for contactless purchases.

Though millions of Japanese consumers already use mobile phones for contactless transactions, NFC, which has undergone dozens of tests around the world, has yet to see widespread rollouts. Juniper predicts that NFC-enabled devices will begin being shipped commercially later this year in anticipation of a market "ramp-up" in 2011.

Helping to drive the popularity of NFC transactions will be smart posters embedded with NFC chips that enable consumers to download coupons, tickets and marketing information to their phones, Howard Wilcox, a senior analyst at Juniper, tells CardLine Global.

The use of mobile couponing already is finding adherents who own smart phones such as the iPhone. The use of coupons and marketing through NFC chips and posters will "change the face of shopping for quite a lot of people, especially people who are time limited," Wilcox says.

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