I think that I must live in a parallel universe to the one that the gurus of Mobile Payments inhabit.
I stand outside the most popular sushi restaurant at lunchtime in the San Francisco Financial District - the home of the venture capitalists that help to keep Silicone Valley buzzing. No phone signal.
I sit on the train travelling through the stockbroker belt of Surrey, the home-base of the movers-and-shakers who finance the growth of UK FinTech. No phone signal.
The Financial Services sector is an industry based on trust. If you can't trust the technology that you are using to start or to complete a financial transaction then there is an essential building block missing from the infrastructure of mobile payments systems
of the future.
Mobile communications services that we cannot trust to be available in order to make and complete a financial transaction will continue to be a major hindrance to the take-up of mobile payment services. As services are this untrustworthy in locations where
you would least expect them to be, imagine how poor they are everywhere else. Without trustworthy infrastructure, payments services providers will need to continue to run costly and failure-prone two tier solutions for their clients - one in the "new money"
of mobile payments and one in the "old money" of static payments, cheques and paying-in slips.
Just like the UK high-street bank that was mentioned on BBC Radio 2 late last year, that had discovered that it was providing modern mobile payment services but that some off its core applications were still running in LSD - pounds, shillings and pence.