Mobile Payments: Hitting the Headlines for New Reasons!
This morning one of my Google Alerts flagged up this interesting-looking article headlined “Cash and cheques could be unfashionable”. The UK Payments Council has just published a Progress Report on the UK’s National Payments Plan. As a mobile commerce analyst I was pleased to see that the report is quite positive about the prospects for mobile payments.
However, I was also surprised to read that carrying fewer notes and coins could have fashion implications! Well, this is one aspect that I’ve just never analysed, and I’m not sure I’m qualified to comment further!
What I can comment on though is that Google Alerts are filling my inbox with new service launches across the entire field of mobile payments on a daily basis. If you don’t use them by the way, they are great for tracking topics of interest.
If I was asked which the hot areas are, then NFC and mobile money transfer would be top of the list. Just a couple of examples are Australia’s successful contactless payments trial, and Zain’s launch of its Zap service.
As an analyst I’m convinced that NFC and the mobile wallet are going to take off and that as many as one in five phones shipped will be NFC-enabled in just a few years. The industry ecosystem does need to continue to collaborate to achieve this level of success and initiatives by the GSM Association as well as mobile network operators, financial institutions and others are playing key roles.
However, educating and enthusing the general public at large is the main challenge and the message must focus on the convenience and speed of using your phone to make payments. People are only going to migrate to new payment methods when they can see the benefits that we in the industry discuss on a daily basis.