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MWC Day 2 - an emerging mobile money ecosystem

With the plethora of news emanating from Barcelona this week, it has been interesting to see announcements about strategic partnerships in the mobile financial services space dominating the headlines. These have included Vodafone’s alliance with Visa to bring contactless mobile payments to customers in more than 30 countries around the world, as well as the news by joint mobile commerce venture, Isis, securing deals with Chase, Capital One and Barclaycard. The tie-in with these banks to load their credit, debit and pre-paid cards onto the telco-controlled mobile wallet follows last year’s announcements by Isis of its relationships with card schemes Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

All of these strategic alliances indicate that organisations that are embarking on a mobile strategy have a growing recognition of the fast-paced nature of the market and the need to partner with specialist firms rather than go it alone. As mentioned in my previous blog, partnerships will play a pivotal role in helping financial institutions bring innovative and consumer-orientated mobile services to market.

In addition, these initiatives demonstrate the increasing collaboration within the industry. Last week saw reports that Vodafone, Telefonica and Everything Everywhere are poised to make a submission to the European Commission (EC) to get some all important standards in place, which will remove a barrier that has been slowing down the delivery of mobile financial services to date. Facebook’s MWC announcement about its mobile operator billing service (through which consumers without debit or credit cards can make in-app purchases) opens yet another door for the widespread adoption of mobile banking and mobile payments.

Most importantly, as more and more partnerships are formed, the mobile money landscape is becoming clearer. With the mist lifting, financial institutions can be safe in the knowledge that a more complete ecosystem is forming, meaning they can confidently move forward with the execution of their mobile strategies.


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