"The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat." It was Confucius who described the current problem that the payment industry is facing: there is none. At least, not the one they are solving.
It is easy, with all the hype around "mobile", "contactless" and "a trillion dollar industry", to forget that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the current status quo. Do Mr and Mrs Average care how they pay for their latte (or which format their
music and movies are delivered in)? Not at all, as long as it's convenient -
it doesn't even have to be secure.
What really drives the (mobile) payment industry? It's all about cash replacement, i.e. increasing the volume of transactions on which banks and card schemes make money. It's not about you and me. Pure and simple.
Can you win consumers' hearts by thinking about your bottom (line)?
Before Apple introduced iPod, music players were niche products for geeks. What problem did Apple solve with iPod and iTunes? It provided mass non-tech consumer market with unparalleled user experience. That's what "killed" LP, MC and CD, not MP3 or MPEG.
NFC, QR and BLE will follow the same route: a new product (and service!) would allow any person to perform several mundane day-to-day tasks without even thinking about it (or about the underlying technology) - the joy of use will come of its transparency,
similar to a light switch or a water tap. We may admire a beautifully designed tap, but we don't care how it works.
The key word there is "effortless", not "mobile" or "contactless". Until that day comes, mobile payments will struggle to cross the chasm.