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.
A handful of big US retailers got together this week to develop a mobile commerce platform backed by a mobile wallet designed to work across “virtually any” smartphone.
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.
US carrier Verizon Wireless will not be supporting Google’s m-commerce app Google Wallet when it launches the first Android 4.0 device. Verizon is rumoured to be launching the Samsung Galaxy Nexus in the US market later this week, but Google has confirmed that the carrier has asked it not to include the mobile app in the handset.
Google’s entry in the mobile phone hardware market with the acquisition of Motorola Mobility seems to be the outcome of the company’s desire to acquire the 17,000+ patents that Motorola holds and compete more effectively with Apple and other smartphone/OS vendors. The acquisition will however, not only have an impact on the handset market but possibly will also have a big impact on the mobile services market. In particular, this may help Google to accelerate the growth of the m-commerce market.
While mCommerce implementations are relatively new, successes such as Safaricom in Kenya, paybox in Austria, Compass Bank in the United States, mpass in Germany and others provide a solid set of lessons learned for mobile operators, enterprises and financial institutions.
It’s hard to escape the mobile money land grab at the moment. In the last few weeks I’ve written the word ‘m-wallet’ more than ever before in such a short time. But while the players involved say there’s enough pie to go around, it might not be to everyone’s taste.
Research released by eBay’s UK operation this week claims that m-commerce could deliver a £4.5bn boost to Britain’s economy by 2016 and a further £13bn by 2021, if nurtured correctly. The research gives the auction house yet more reason to go after Google for allegedly upsetting its mobile activities last week.
Do we need a wireless carrier e-commerce revolution to kickstart the mobile Value Added Services market?
Carriers’ online service purchasing mechanisms are apparently not as advanced as consumers might think. OSS and BSS industry sources are suggesting that as few as 10 to 15 percent of wireless carriers worldwide have an end-to-end e-commerce solution as part of their web presence.