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An article relating to this blog post on Finextra:

Mobile payments to soar - research

The popularity of mobile payments is set to rocket over the next few years, with the value of the market rising from $77.6 million in 2007 to $11.5 billion in 2011, according to a report from Juniper...

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Mobile Phones as Tokens

I find it really annoying that using a mobile phone as a token to make a purchase using NFC at point of sale is called "Mobile Payment". By the same yardstick using a contactless card is a mobile payment as it uses similar technology. I don't disagree that a mobile phone will be the "token of choice" for many, myself included, but these NFC delivered transactions are not mobile payments. True mobile payments are paying for things using a mobile device remote from any point of sale and this is an area that needs a great deal of work to make it user friendly whilst maintaining security and providing the right products and services before any real expansion will happen.

Comments: (4)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 01 November, 2007, 09:22Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I agree with your stronger definition of mobile payments, under the simplistic definition, wouldn't cash be one?

In relation to better authentication for mobile payments, both usable and secure, take a look at the articles written of Finextra & elsewhere on GrIDsure technology.

Nick Collin
Nick Collin - Collin Consulting Ltd - London 01 November, 2007, 10:51Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Totally agree with Nick Green.  Maybe I'm the wrong generation but I've just never understood why mobile payments excites so much interest.  OK, I can see that you might use a phone to pay for stuff which is actually to do with the phone itself, like top-ups and ring tones, but the idea of using it at the physical point of sale instead of a payment card I just don't get.  Why would you want to do that?  As Nick Green says, if you're using the phone as a contactless device that's another matter altogether - you may as well talk about "key fob payments" or "wristwatch payments" - and in any case a contactless payment card is much better because it can be used in contact mode every so often for greater security - that's the idea of the London Launch as I understand it.  Which leaves us with remote payments.  The mobile phone industry has been announcing pilots of "m-commerce" solutions for about 10 years now but they never seem to catch on.  It seems to me that fundamental issues to do with security and infrastructure mean we're still many years away from a commercial mass-market product.

Jan-Olof Brunila
Jan-Olof Brunila - Swedbank - Stockholm 05 November, 2007, 08:45Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Dear All,

Perhaps the appropriate definition should be mobilephone payments, since many means of payment among these cash, are "mobile". Also regarding the nfc moblie phone payments, this can be achieved just by gluing your nfc payment chip card to the back of your mobile phone, and viola, many years of tech development and cost to create a possibility to store and use nfc card payments through the mobile SIM, is avoided. Kids in Tokyo have discovered this already and this "application" is also not dependent on mobile phone battery time! How annoying to have a flat mobile phone battery just when you shall pay the enty ticket to the subway! So if your device of choice is the mobile phone, just buy a tube of silicone glue, so that if you regret your choice, you can remove the card from the phone. The true mobile phone payment should remain an application where the mobile phone is used as a communication terminal rather than a storage of an offline application. Because that is what the mobile phone is unique for - remote communication capability

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 08 November, 2007, 10:07Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes I agree with Nick Green that finds it annoying that using a mobile phone as a token to make a purchase using NFC at point of sale is called "Mobile Payment". NFC seems to be the hype of the year and it is fuelled by a wish to reduce the time it takes to pay. More througput - more income per employee. NFC is a nice technology for that purpose, and putting it in mobile phones is no big deal - technically speaking. This has been proved in numerous pilots world wide. Seen from a payment providers (I’m not – I deliver solutions) perspective the technology is only one part of the puzzle. Some of the other missing pieces are that the number of NFC enabled phones among consumers is close to zero, business agreements with mobile operators are not in place and in short term it is unlikely that phone producers will agree to standardize the bits and pieces needed.

However, there are some Nordic mobile payment initiatives that use existing technology as basis. These are based on cooperation between Mobile operators and Banks where Banks do payments and operators handle mobile technology and network. The beauty of this approach is that any phone can be used. Another important factor is that banks and mobile operators combine assets without interfering in each others core business. These are the mobile payments solutions that can succeed in the short term. Mobile NFC payments will probably come when most phones are ready... If business models and user acceptance allows for it.

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