The mobile payments industry floats on oceans of hype and buoyed expectations as any industry in its infancy must. NFC, long the poster child for mobile payments, has suffered as key players brought products to the plate that swung and missed, or at best connected but went foul. There are no North American NFC home runs, a winner that delighted consumers and merchants alike by providing them services that made their interactions demonstrably better, faster or cheaper. So is any of this the fault of NFC? Sure, NFC is expensive to deploy. And there hasn't exactly been a flood of handsets that support NFC, so most merchants and consumers can't currently use NFC without upgrading their hardware.