Posts Tagged ‘mobile payments’

Follow the Mobile Money

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

Mobile money in 2012 and preview of 2013

It has many names and many elements, but in the end it all comes down to money, specifically “mobile money.” 2012 was a big year for mobile money, and one can only assume 2013 will be even bigger. As the mobile industry starts to count down the days to its biggest trade show of the year, Mobile World Congress, which for the fifth year features a Mobile Money Pavilion, we asked three executives about their view of the biggest development in mobile money in 2012, and what they anticipate will be the biggest development in 2013.

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Marc Gardner, CEO of PayAnywhere

Marc Gardner
CEO of

Dr. Siva Narendra, PhD, CEO of Tyfone

Siva Narendra
CEO of

Brad Singer, Executive VP of PayOne

Brad Singer
Executive VP of


Each of these executives agrees that 2012 was the watershed year in which mobile money started to become widespread and mainstream. 2012 saw several new entrants, a lot of news coverage on mobile money and forecasts for explosive growth. In August last year, industry analyst firm Juniper Research indicated the market is at the base of the hockey stick effect, forecasting that in 5 years, by the end of 2017, the mobile money market will be worth $1.3 trillion.

Marc Gardner, CEO of mobile point of sale (mPOS) company PayAnywhere says, “The acceptance of credit card payments on smart phones and tablets,” was the biggest development in mobile money in 2012. In fact, 2012 was the first year that credit card payments made on smartphones and tablets topped $10 billion (closer to $20 billion) in the United States alone.

Brad Singer, executive vice president of direct-to-bill mobile payments provider PayOne, saw an ecosystem solidifying around mobile money. Looking back at 2012, Singer notes how all the major players in the financial ecosystem finally recognized “the importance and potential of mobile money and all the surrounding 1:1 personalized mobile engagement value.” These players include the major financial institutions, wireless operators, payment providers, brick and mortar retailers, traditional and new networks, as well as major technology and Internet companies.

As further evidence that we may all look back at 2012 as mobile money’s tipping point, Siva Narendra, CEO of Tyfone, technology provider for mobile banking, NFC payments and secure identity, sees the rising tide of a power struggle between the various stakeholders in the payments ecosystem around mobile money. In the end, Narendra predicts that the banks will own the major piece of mobile payments citing as evidence developments in 2012 that included “congressional hearings on mobile payments essentially asking for new regulations if banks don’t own it, to Visa’s cease and desist letter to Google, and Verizon’s blocking of Google Wallet.”


Looking ahead to what will happen this year, the three executives agreed that simplification would be a key theme, but they differ on when and how that will happen.

Singer predicts 2013 will be a year of both simplification and reality in mobile money. Says Singer, “This early phase of mobile money is too confusing and complicated, with overwhelming, conflicting and over-hyped choices for the average consumer.” Singer predicts that consolidation and simplification in the space is inevitable this year, and views the bridging of online and offline commerce as a must this year as well.

Narendra doesn’t see this market simplification happening until late this year. “More fragmentation and consumer confusion in the market on ways to use mobile for payments will dominate the market conditions in the first 3 quarters of 2012, followed by the last quarter spent realizing the need for consolidation and a unified consumer message.” Narendra predicts that it will be the banks and credit unions that will drive these important changes.

Gardner sees the credit card issuers driving the big changes in mobile money in 2013. His prediction on the big event in mobile money this year? “The massive marketing launch of Visa’s digital wallet on smartphones.” Gardner further expects that in 2013 we will start to see tablets replace cash registers and traditional payment processing peripherals and terminals not just in small businesses that are more mobile in nature, but in mainstay retailers with brick and mortar locations. He believes the companies embracing this evolution will benefit from being a first mover in deploying what will be the mainstream way to provide point of sale solutions in the near future, which not only replace traditional systems, but also add new features and capabilities to enhance the customer experience and create new levels of business intelligence.

What do you predict will be the biggest development in mobile money in 2013? We invite you to share your forecasts for this year in our comments.

John S

November 19th Weekend Reading

Friday, November 19th, 2010

weekend reading books

With the holiday season upon us, the focus in the news lately has been centered on consumer spending. Will people be purchasing a lot this year? How will the economy affect holiday shoppers?

It comes as no surprise that consumer spending also affects the mobile market. But for mobile technology, the most interesting stories haven’t been about how much spending but rather how shoppers will spend.

Check out some of this week’s major announcements surrounding the rapidly evolving world of mobile payments and purchasing.

Will Android Replace the Credit Card?

Google sure thinks so! Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt unveiled his vision that Android phones will one day replace credit cards as he showed off a prototype of a mobile phone running a new version of Android at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco this week.

The yet-to-be-released phone will have a special chip that allows consumers to quickly pay for items by tapping the phone against a special terminal. This new version of Google’s mobile operating system, which has the season-appropriate code name “gingerbread,” will include near-field communication (NFC) technology that could one day turn your smart phone into a digital payment system.

“One way to think about it is, this could replace your credit card,” Schmidt said, speaking at the Web 2.0 conference.

While Google’s “Gingerbread” isn’t set to come out for a few more weeks, NFC technology has been available for years. And you can bet that interoperability with Google’s Android software should make the technology even more widespread.

AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Launch Isis

Following the trend of using your smartphone for purchases, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon launched a joint venture to build a national network for subscribers to make in-store purchases using their smartphones.

The vision of Isis is a nationwide mobile commerce network that will enable consumers to make point-of-sale purchases via mobile devices. The network will use NFC technology to let consumers pay for retail goods and services by waving a radio microchip-equipped smartphone at a corresponding retailer reader unit.

Three Tier 1 operators deciding to work together all in the name of mobile commerce certainly speaks to the importance of the evolving industry.

Michael Abbott, chief executive of the new joint venture, said in a statement the new network will be introduced over the next 18 months in key markets.

“I fully expect there will be all kinds of investment and innovation around this network that I can’t imagine,” said Abbott.

One thing is for certain: the future of contactless payments is undoubtedly bright.

Apple Foils Beatles Announcement

Hey Apple fans- were you standing by with your phones in hand, ready to purchase whatever the new product announcement was this week? If so, then you were likely scratching your head at the slightly botched unveiling of Beatles music on the iTunes store.

Apple- what appears to be accidentally- pre-loaded the long-awaited Fab Four catalog into the iTunes store early, confirming that the Beatles, their record label Apple Corps and its parent company EMI finally decided to embrace the digital era by allowing the Fab Four’s remastered catalog to be sold as downloads on iTunes.

It’s no surprise that Apple would make such an announcement to kick off the holiday season as mobile users will likely spend a lot of money on the new music offering. And apparently, the digital music market needs it.

Reuters reports that U.S. digital music sales have shown worrisome signs of slowing. Digital album sales this year through the week ended November 7 were up 12%, slowing from a 17.5% increase during the same period last year.

While the digital release of the Beatles catalog won’t reverse these numbers single-handedly, it does open to the door for other artists who have held out on going the MP3 route.

So this holiday season, get out your phones and buy some Beatles!


Weekend Reading: September 10th – Caffeine-infused Edition

Friday, September 10th, 2010


International Broadcasters Conference (IBC) Kicks Off This Week

Known to the broadcast world as the premier annual conference for the creation, management and delivery of entertainment media, IBC hits Amsterdam each September with the latest and greatest in cutting-edge technology for the evolving broadcast media industry.

If you’re at this year’s show, be sure to swing by Mobility PR clients RGB Networks (Stand 4.B91) and Tektronix (Stand 8.C75) for live demos.

IBC is a truly global show- bringing together more than 45,000 attendees from over 140 countries and featuring more than 1300 exhibitors. And it’s a long show too, spanning five full days of exhibits, conference sessions and keynotes, so be sure to have a Heineken on hand, errr… I mean coffee. Make mine a doubleshot!

Starbucks Now Hooks-up Blackberry Users with Mobile Payment App

Speaking of a doubleshot… In a move that goes against the mobile banking grain, Starbucks has announced a mobile payment application for BlackBerry smartphones- disregarding experts who continue to state that Android is the hottest smartphone platform for mobile banking.

Last September, Starbucks announced its mobile payment app for the iPhone, enabling users to link the stores’ prepaid cards to their phones, and then use the phone to make purchases by bringing up a bar code on the screen that can be read by special scanners at the register. This met with much success, and jealous BlackBerry users began demanding the same capability.

While the limelight has been focused lately on Android and iPhone, a recent Nielsen report shows that BlackBerry is still on top, used by 35 percent of smartphone owners ( iPhone has a 28 percent share and Android 13 percent). Acknowledging that many of the people who are most interested in using their phones for Starbucks purchases often carry company-issued BlackBerrys, Starbucks sees its new BlackBerry app tapping directly into its target demographic.

“When you look at the Starbucks customer base … it was pretty clear to me that I had to go to BlackBerry,” said Chuck Davidson, the category manager for innovation on the Starbucks card team.

So before you find yourself on your next inevitable early-morning work trip, be sure you load the new Starbucks app on your beloved company-issued BlackBerry before you grab your cup o’ joe for the day.

Mobility PR tip: Register your Starbucks prepaid card on the website for even more sweet benefits, from protection of your card balance if your card is ever lost or stolen, to discounts and free coffee on your birthday!

Las Vegas Crowned Mobile Broadband Capital

There’s a new capital among us but it’s nowhere near D.C. If you’re interested in streaming music on your mobile while watching Netflix on your Blackberry all at your favorite Wi-Fi hotspot- you’ll want to head west to the bright lights of Las Vegas.

If you’re asking, “but can’t you already do that?” the answer is of course: yes. But what Las Vegas offers is faster, bigger, brighter and even more accessible – like normal connectivity after a hefty dose of caffeine! After all, this is Sin City we’re talking about.

Light Reading reports, “Las Vegas is already a hotbed of mobile broadband offerings and looks set to become the most ‘4G’-friendly city in the US as 2010 progresses… The city is also home to the fastest 3G options currently available.”

With Wi-Fi access points available all along the strip and free Wi-Fi at McCarran International Airport since 2005 (one of the first airports to ever offer this), Vegas has you covered.

What happens in Vegas, doesn’t have to stay in Vegas anymore. Get your chips, make your bets and tell everyone about it on the go, straight from the city of mobile broadband dreams.

Caffeinated Innovations

And last but not least in this “caffeine-infused” version of the MoPR Weekend Reading, is a fun piece from TrendHunter featuring “15 Unconventional Caffeinated Innovations,” from power boosting coffee cups to supercar coffee machines.

Our favorite, of course, is the coke-powered phone. A concept phone with a bio battery that creates electricity from carbohydrates, the innovative device from designer Daizi Zheng can run on Coca-Cola with a charge three to four times longer lasting than a regular lithium battery.