SIM-based NFC remains the holy grail of mobile payment for cellular operators. The NFC community has its sights set far wider than simple mobile financial services, but it is taking time for the technology to get to market.
Sweden’s mobile operators are to launch m-wallet services through a standalone joint venture, 4T, in June this year. We speak to acting MD Johan Ragnevad, as the launch date nears.
Mobile payments is an enormous market opportunity but the landscape is still very fragmented. Jim O’Loughlin VP Sales of the Applications Business Unit at NewNet explains what’s to play for.
The biggest innovations in m-payment mechanisms among merchants seem to be at the lower end of the market. But Big Retail is still in the running and everyone is seeking to influence a change in behaviour.
The O2 Wallet is the most comprehensive mobile payments service launched to date by an operator in Western markets. And interestingly, although the service is packed full of cool capabilities, such as text-based money transfers, price comparisons and offers, it is not yet enabled for contactless payments. Unlike other players in the nascent mobile payments market, O2 hasn’t chosen to make NFC (near-field communication) the focus of its mobile wallet’s appeal – not like Google Wallet or Quick Tap, the NFC m-wallet service launched last year by rival UK operator Orange. O2 is waiting until NFC handsets and payment terminals are more widely deployed to switch on that capability – but is not banking on it for the success of the wallet.
Financial institutions like Visa have spent the last 20 years laying the rails for international payment systems. Visa is now leveraging those frameworks to mobilise the commerce experience.
Telefónica subsidiary O2 has become the first operator in the UK market to launch a mobile wallet offering. The service offers price comparison for online shopping, person to person money transfer and allows the user to digitise cards linked to existing bank accounts, or load money onto an O2 stored value account.
In a world where it’s almost too easy to part with your digital currency, innovation has moved on to the contents of the digital wallet.
Mobile financial services are back in the news, making for a substantial share of the announcements made at February’s Mobile World Congress. The aim is as simple as the ecosystem is complex, and structuring a play in this space is no mean feat.
The global value of mobile payments is set to reach close to $1tn (£591bn) worldwide by 2015. The driver will be consumer demand for devices with NFC technology, which are expected to instigate a 97 per cent growth per year, over the next three years, according to a report by KPMG.
Mobile salary dispersal is being used to fight corruption and ensure workers receive their full wage in emerging markets, according to the head of a mobile commerce and financial services solution provider.
Online payment giant Paypal has named entrepreneur and founder of Zong, David Marcus, as its president. Marcus had held the position of VP of mobile since the acquisition of Zong last year.
UK mobile payment technology and services provider Monitise has announced plans to acquire US based counterpart Clairmail, in a bid to create the “world’s largest pure-play mobile money company”. Monitise will pay a sum of $173m for the acquisition, which is conditional upon US regulatory and shareholder approvals, and the firm expects the acquisition to be completed before the end of the financial year 2012.
PayPal has launched a mobile payment solution allowing small businesses to process a wide variety of types of transaction. The solution, called PayPal Here, allows businesses to accept payments by swiping cards with a fully encrypted thumb-sized card reader, use a phone camera to scan and process cards and cheques and also allows businesses to invoice directly from the PayPal mobile app.
Swedish operators Telia, Telenor, Tele2 and 3 are planning to replicate their 4T mobile payment joint venture in Norway and Denmark, where some or all of them are present in the market. Swedish firm 4T was created in November last year and is 25 per cent owned by each operator.