Deutsche Telekom (DT) has followed in the footsteps of other major European carrier groups in unveiling plans to launch a prepaid card in association with one of the big card-payment networks. The German incumbent – which has 90 million mobile subscribers in Europe through its T-Mobile subsidiary – has partnered with MasterCard to enable payments from a stored-value account linked to both a mobile wallet and a plastic card.
Transaction giant PayPal added another tool to its arsenal for occasional merchants this week with the acquisition of San Francisco startup Card.io. The firm develops an application that enabled users to capture credit card information using the camera on a smartphone.
Financial services firm Visa continued its expansion into the mobile payments space by announcing a preferential partnership with Telefónica in Europe.
One recurring point made by almost everyone we spoke to for the mobile money issue, is that cash is of no value to anybody in this ecosystem. The cash value chain features the smallest number of participants – the buyer and the seller – with no opportunity for anyone else to skim a wafer thin transaction charge off the top. Moreover, cash is seen as inconvenient and insecure, and some might argue it’s on the way to getting a bad rep as a payment mechanism. So will digital triumph by virtue alone?
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Digital arm of Spain-based carrier Telefónica clearly sees opportunity in the mobile payments space, on Thursday announcing investment in, and a strategic agreement with, m-payment firm Boku.
Ahmed Al Mehyas, General Manager for Emirates Data Clearing House (EDCH), owned by operator group Etisalat, talks to telecoms.com about the pressures on operators in the roaming sector as well as opportunities in the mobile finance space. Al Mehyas also talks about his vision of integrating the mobile number with a variety of social services.
Financial services provider Visa Europe said Wednesday that it intends to take a 15 per cent stake in the Mobile Money Network (MMN) – a joint venture between Monitise, Best Buy Europe and Carphone Warehouse, and telecoms entrepreneur Charles Dunstone (as a private investor).
Ericsson and MTN Group have co-launched m-wallet services in the Middle East and African regions, marking the first time an operator has adopted Ericsson’s converged wallet offering.
Service revenues or fees from m-commerce transactions are expected to reach $37bn by 2016, bolstered by mobile remote payments for physical goods and services and international mobile money transfers. These two elements together will be worth over $25bn in 2016, accounting for two thirds of the total m-commerce market, according to statistics released this week.
Payment and banking services provider Visa said Tuesday that it has certified NFC-enabled smartphones from Samsung, LG and RIM for use with its PayWave mobile payments application. The PayWave application is installed on a secure SIM card and allows users to make payments at points of sale using a contactless payment terminal.
Sweden’s mobile operators are the latest carriers to band together and form a mobile payments joint venture. Investment amounts have not been revealed, but Telia, Tele2, Telenor and 3 will each own 25 per cent.
Cost of living through an economic slump? Ridiculously high. Getting consumers to part with their hard earned cash with nothing but a wave of the phone? Priceless. You can almost hear the *tap; kerchings* echoing throughout the industry as our plump but ever hungry financial institutions and payment providers continue their foray into the mobile market.
Financial services provider Visa Europe has invested £24.7m in mobile payments platform Monitise, giving the latter a greater European presence. Monitise is also consolidating its position in the US by buying out its partner in its US operation.
Google’s mobile wallet venture has become a commercial reality, although it remains very much in its infancy. A trial was announced in May and, at present, the service is supported only by the Samsung Nexus S 4G (WiMAX) handset on the Sprint network in the US, although the retail side is supported by the MasterCard PayPass network
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.