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Could Apple lead the way on mobile payments?

Martin Exner

Computer Sweden

5 September 2014

 

To read the full article in Swedish, click here. 

 

Martin Exner, PA mobile payments expert, has had an article published in Computer Sweden explaining why consumers are still waiting for a mobile wallet.

In the piece, Martin says many companies have invested a lot of money in the market, but few have been successful. In the US, for instance, the telecom companies launched ISIS (not to be confused with the terrorist organisation) without success, while the UK’s O2 Wallet was shut down after two years. 
 
There are, however, mobile payment services that solve specific problems very well. Martin draws on Swish as an example, which makes it easier for individuals to send money to each other. Food chain, ICA, also has an interesting combination of credit cards, coupons and a mobile app for its customers – but the restriction is that it can only be used in stores. 
 
Martin goes on to emphasise that banks, issuers of debit cards, mobile operators and mobile developers are failing to produce a service that meets consumer demands. He says: A complete solution should be secure, easy to use and free. Moreover, it must be comprehensive and work everywhere. A mobile wallet must be able to make clean payments and cater for everyday needs such as receipt management, loyalty and membership cards, coupons, tickets and identification documents.”
 
One major reason for the delay, according to Martin, is the current fragmentation of the market. Telecom operators, handset manufacturers, banks, credit card issuers and Google are all competing to supply the correct solution’ – but the result is counterproductive. He says lessons should be learned from other parts of the world such as the UAE, where a mobile wallet is being developed that has the potential to succeed. This is because all major banks are behind the service and the government has stepped in as a guarantor of the underlying system.

Martin concludes: “We
will have to wait some time before there is a mobile replacement for the wallet in our region. However, on 9 September, Apple will launch its next model of iPhone. Some rumours claim it will be equipped with NFC readers which would be a true evolution. It would mean we would finally get a standard technology platform that the two largest mobile systems (Android and iOS) support. This would increase the ability to expand rapidly towards a solution that merchants, banks and mobile operators can agree on – and allow consumers to leave their wallets at home.”

Martin Exner is mobile payment expert at PA Consulting Group


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