Leading banks, telcos, handset manufacturers and app developers gathered in Barcelona on Wednesday to debate the future of mobile banking and payment services at the first annual MobeyDay. Finextra liveblogged the event throughout the day here.
That's it from the first MobeyDay. Hasta pronto.17:02:
The closing keynote came from Sean Gilchrist, MD, digital banking at Barclays, who walked delegates through the bank's new Pingit mobile person-to-person payments service. Live for just over a month in the UK, the Pingit app has been downloaded over 350,000 times and used to send around £2 million. Although targeted at consumers, small businesses have also started to use it and an upgrade enabling non-Barclays customers to send money will launch within days.
Quizzed by the audience, Gilchrist insisted that Pingit is "complementary" to the system currently being developed by banks through the UK Payments Council and that Barclays is a part of that system.
The Barclays man also faced a tricky question from a Danish delegate who revealed that he had explored a similar system but abandoned it over regulatory and legal concerns with sending unsolicited money and asking recipients to sign up to get it. How come Barclays got it service through, the questioner wanted to know? "Different lawyers" replied Gilchrist, securing the biggest laugh of the day.15:53:
The afternoon's security session featuring Chris Waynforth from RSA, Matias Seppovaara from Nordea and Mario Maawad Marcos from la Caixa saw a consensus that at the moment, mobile malware and phishing have yet to emerge as a real threat - although it surely will. The best way to counter the threats is through the accumulation of data that helps banks understand customer behaviour - la Caixa uses five years' worth of information. The panellists say that mobiles offer location-based security benefits. There are regulatory and legal issues with pinpointing customer locations but mobiles can be used to check general positions.
This additional data also poses a problem, with leakage into non-security for delegates. La Caixa does not provide data to outside firms but also has to ensure that information is protected by Chinese walls within the bank - fraud departments cannot mix with the marketing team.15:32:
I had to duck out of the 'killer app' session but this tweet seems to sum the mood up: 14:28
As this is a mobile event, here's an unscientific breakdown of the devices being used during the sessions: mobile, 40%; laptop, 20%; tablet, 15%; nothing, 20%; pen and paper(!) 5%.14:23:
In the final session before lunch, Bent Bentsen from DNB Bank, Jozef Nyiri from IND Group and Robert Hasson from Accenture debated 'to NFC or not to NFC?'. Zilvin Bareisis from Celent moderated.
Nyiri claimed that the majority of customers don't even know about NFC, let alone care about it, while merchants are wary about the cost and hassle involved. Banks are certainly keen to explore the technology but, he argued, it is mobile network operators that have taken the lead and are best placed to dominate the market. Bentsen insisted that his bank doesn't see telcos as a threat. Returning to the earlier theme of collaboration, he says that they have expertise and infrastructure that makes them attractive partners. Hasson though, raised the spectre of another looming group of rivals - the big tech firms such as Google and PayPal. He warned that these firms are essentially new species entering the ecosystem that could trigger a survival-of-the-fittest struggle.11:47:
David Urbano, director of mobile at la Caixa, is now talking about the bank's strategy in this nascent channel. La Caixa prides itself on its early adopter status and the range of apps it offers in different stores - it currently accounts for 42% of the Spanish mobile banking market with over three million apps downloaded. Most importantly, says Urbano, once they use mobile services, customers keep using them. In its latest wheeze, la Caxia is introducing the first Smart TV banking app for Samsung.11:28:
One firm that is not traditionally keen on collaboration is Apple:11:25:
On the heels of Zafa's keynote, the conference moved on to a panel discussion called 'the brave new mobile ecosystem' featuring Amir Tabakovic from PostFinance, Wim Westerhof from Dutch consortium Program Sixpack, Tomasz Smilowicz from Citi, Jorge Campos from Gemalto, and John Worthy from Field Fisher Waterhouse. Finextra's Liz Lumley acted as moderator.
Westerhof says that with Sixpack containing three banks holding over 90% of the Dutch market between them and three telcos with over 80% of their market, the group is not interested in piilots, it wants to cover the entire nation, 10 million people, in 10 years time. Westerhof stressed that the system is open to all interested parties, including T-Mobile which recently decided to strike out on its own but, he insists will eventually be part of the service.
Collaboration was the key word and Citi's Smilowicz says the bank is convinced open systems are the future, which is why it is working with Google, although talks with Isis are ongoing. Smilowicz says that collaboration, anathema to banks in the past, is now all the rage and this is partly because of necessity but also because mobile money is such an enormous pie that will continue to grow for the next 50 years - providing a big slice for everyone involved. 11:07:
There's been an impressive turnout:11:02:
van Wezel was followed on stage by Samee Zafar, director, Edgar & Dunn, for the keynote. Zafar pointed to research from his company surveying industry stakeholders; 91% of respondents think that Google and PayPal will be major drivers in the growth of mobile commerce. This puts the tech giants ahead of card networks, cited by 82%. Ahead of banks, 81% of respondents also think new innovators such as Facebook will push mobile commerce - an argument that does not convince Zafar who suspects Facebook Credits will struggle to break out as a true payments tool.
Zafar closed his presentation by urging delegates not to forget merchants, warning them that consumers are just 50% of the mobile commerce equation. However, asked from the floor about the mooted plan by US retailers, including Wal-Mart, to set up their own system, he was sceptical, suggesting its "posturing".10:47:
Many apologies for the radio-silence - temperamental wifi...
Kicking MobeyDay off, Ron van Wezel, chairman of the board, Mobey Forum, was keen to stress that the bank-dominated organisation is keen to widen its membership and bring in players from other parts of the mobile ecosystem. To this end, he revealed that this week the group welcomed its first non-bank member - Nordic e-payments firm Nets - to the board.08:38:
MobeyDay is organised by the Mobey Forum and Finextra and hosted by la Caixa at science museum CosmoCaixa in Barcelona:View Larger Map08:25 (CET):
Delegates are filing in for the event and grabbing some breakfast before the day begins in earnest at 9:00am. Representatives from La Caixa, Citibank, DNB Bank, PostFinance, PayPal, MasterCard and Nokia are among the participants lined up to speak.
First up will be Ron van Wezel, chairman of the board, Mobey Forum and director, emerging payment streams, Deutsche Bank, who will welcome delegates before handing over to Samee Zafar, director, Edgar & Dunn, for the keynote: The State of Mobile Financial Services.