Mobile Payments 2011
Author: Tim Green (Intent Media)
Mobile payments used to mean one thing – using the phone bill to pay for mobile content like ringtones or games. But in the last 18 months it's been transformed. Giant companies like PayPal are using the handset as a channel for transactions, while online merchants offer a 'pay by mobile' option for their digital goods. This ME report provides a clear and comprehensive overview of one of mobile's hottest topics...
After nearly ten years, the mobile payments space has reached a tipping point. Mobile payments used to mean one thing – using the phone bill to pay for digital content like ringtones or games, first through reverse-billed SMS and then via the operator bill.
But in the last 18 months it’s been transformed in three ways. First, new companies have enabled a ‘pay by mobile’ option to give e-commerce users thechance to charge digital items direct to their phone bill. This has opened up the market for virtual items, ebooks, music tracks and more to the vast number of users who either don’t have or don’t want to use a credit card to make the payment.
Second, the mobile handset has become a channel through which giant companies like PayPal and Mastercard can enable transactions by their account holders. This has been a consequence of the app revolution. It’s painful to use SMS to access your credit card account. But an app that requests a simple pin and relies on ‘touch and sweep’ provides a much more compelling user experience.
Third, the prospect of using mobile to pay for physical goods has been opened up by technology such as NFC, the Square plug-in and ‘bump’. These contactless technologies turn the phone into a virtual wallet that can be topped up and then used to pay for low ticket items like refreshments, transport fares and so on.
Suddenly the world is all over mobile payments. Even Google and Apple are rumoured to be planning an assault. But it’s a bewildering sector, with so many competing technologies and business models.
In this PDF-only report, we will provide a clear path through this exciting space.
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