MasterCard Mobile Payments Global Symposium - Live blog

MasterCard Mobile Payments Global Symposium - Live blog

Catch up with all the news from the MasterCard Mobile Payments Global Symposium at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday.

17:37: End of session roundup. As expected strong emphasis on listening to the customer and offering them value added services (loyalty and coupons, for example) in addition to payments. However, only Paul Galant from Citi, Nigel Shortt from Boots UK and Eric Tak from ING mentioned the barriers to this 'customer-centric' utopia - namely cost - cost to the merchant and the bank in offering these services. Another Utopian consensus - everyone came out in favour of consortia or, at least, working with partners in an open and inter-operable way - something MasterCard must be happy with. Whether that works in the non-Utopian, real world is a question currently being answered.

17:36: That's the end of the panel and the session (three of the four on the last panel won GSM awards today)

17:33: Khosla: The questions is not how plastic or mobile can be used more - but how we can expand financial inclusion - that needs to be the mindset

17:32: Q Any advice from the panel for MasterCard?

17:27: Held: The technology is the easiest part of mobile commerce. Just throw some money to a bunch of engineers and they will connect some boxes. We don't need to know how GSM or MasterCard works - it all works. The value is how you interact with the customer - all the rest you can buy.

17:25: Nidugandi: Coming from a banking background - there is no single brush that says 'this is mobile money' in every country there is a specific need and a specific behaviour.

17:22: Dent: As a telco, when we started working with financial services it took two to three years to get it right (we had to fire three or four project managers) We had to learn: What are the best questions to ask a financial regular?, for example. So before you start looking to change customer buying habits - you need a proper culture in place to aid you working with financial services.

17:21: Nidugandi: What you need to do is 'follow the money' When you follow the money you discover: the ecosystem; what the customer wants and the customer behaviour.

17:20: Held: You need to look at how environment impacts customer behaviour. In Egypt 60% of purchases require a home delivery, simply because of the heavy traffic in Cairo.

17:18: MC Q: What are the big issues that mobile can address first in emerging economies?

17:16: MC: Asking Nidugandi about moving from 'closed loop' to 'open loop' mobile set infrastructures.

17:14: Held: As soon as you stop pushing your customer to use the services of one particular bank or one particular telcom - location or geography should not have an impact on the customer transaction.

17:12: Held: How we help customers move from cash to plastic and from plastic and to the mobile is what we put on the device. Mobile's have a screen. That screen allows you to interact - cash and plastic you cannot interact with the customer.

17:10: Khosla: It is very easy to benchmark non-voice customer use of mobile phone. You can use that data to find out what your customers are using and what they are looking for and provide accordingly.

17:08: Q: How do we start the mobile education - is there a step aside from starting with plastic?


17:03: Dent: There is a misnomer that 'low income' people are low intelligence (talking about education). Low income people are among the most innovative.

17:01: Held: You can't rely on the government to push mobile financial services - it needs to be pulled - from the consumer end.

17:00: Khosla: In Africa if the ecosystem is in place - whether it be product design or operators or education - then the system works. In Africa (where hunger is best driver of innovation) offering mobile banking services is changing and saving a person's life.

16:57: MC: Our research found that any mobile commerce - from rural villages to NFC - needs to be 'demystified' for the consumer. We, as an industry have been poor in educating the consumer.

16:53: Dent: If you look at the research you could say 'never' ME is still very cash based. But, three things needs to happen: 1. Banks want to get rid of cash 2. A $50 smart mobile phone becomes available (three years off?) 3. Operator consortium needs to come together

16:52: Q: What are the timelines for when the majority of payments go to the phone?

16:50: Held: This is not to disrespect financial services - but sometimes we 'over complicate' systems. Transactions are just between two people. All this talk about interconnections is over complex.

16:48: Dent: Qtel re branded as 'Ooredoo' group last night.

16:44: MC: What is interesting with ME & Africa is one region is 'money money' and the other is NFC. (Can you guess which one?) So when we tallk about convergence - this is a good region to look at

16:42: Last session on the Middle East & Africa starts now

4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. - Middle East and Africa session: "Mobile Money in the Middle East & Africa: What's Next? Scaling up from Successful Models to Interoperable Solutions"

  • Geogre Held, Etisalat Group
  • Nick Dent, Qtel Group
  • Jayant Khosla, Bharti airtel
  • Srinivas Nidugandi, Mohindra Comviva

16:13: OK folks - the last break of the day - be back at 16:30 for the Middle East!

16:11: The panel ended up discussing (in English and Portuguese) the somewhat prohibited costs of NFC sim cards. No real answer there - except how not to pass that cost to the customer.

16:02: Fraiz: The Brazil Central Bank is working in regulations regarding a mobile framework. The Central Bank is interested in working with various initiatives in Brazil.

16:02: Q: What is the framework for mobile payments in Brazil in 2013?

15:58: Ah, well done. First Q from audience is in Portuguese.

15:57: Time for audience questions!

15:53: MC: Latam is about linking and connecting the unbanked, the banks and the banked consumers - because they all interconnect in real life. The partnership approach also seems to be the winning formula for Latam.

15:46: Keough: In Latam - there is a large, established remittance network from North to South America - by looking at the benefits that best fit the specific needs of the local consumer adds the most value even as you build the mobile ecosystem.

15:44: Keough: One of the issues in Latin America - many of the customers do not have smart phones. We need to offer services that work on more basic phones. Many governments in Latam are also looking to mobile for payments and identity services.

15:41: Solé: However, smart phone penetration in Brazil is now at 40%

15:36: Solé: Mobile Money and NFC are brothers in payments. Right now 'mobile money' is focused on the unbanked - it is social service. But for many mobile money will be people's first experience in banking. With NFC we need to present the customer experience, we need to create value - because consumers are not always convinced that need [another payment method] something else.

15:29: Keough: Everything has to focus on 'what can we do for the consumer?' <==Yes, but based on the last panel - what is good for the customer may be too costly for the banks or the merchants.

15:24: Sole': We do not think that a telecom operator can do mobile banking on their own in Brazil. That is why we partnered with a bank - we should all do what we do well.

15:22: Solé: More than 50% of our customer base in Brazil is unbanked or underbanked. This is a huge opportunity.

15:21: Sole': There is a new value chain being created between banks and telecoms in regards to mobile - we want to be part of the value chain.

15:19: Solé: Brazil is 4th largest market for telecoms in the world. Bigger than any country in Europe.

15:17: Fraiz: In Brazil 35% of population has no bank account and transacts via cash

15:15: Fraiz: 265 million mobile subscribers in Brazil. Caixa has more mobile customers than any other bank customer.

15:12: Marcello Ribeiro Trovão Fraiz, Caixa Economica Federal is peaking in Portuguese (I assume - since he is from Brazil) with a translator. Might be slow going for this solo-lingual blogger!

15:04: Latin America and the Caribbean sessions starts now!

3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Latin America and the Caribbean session: "Mobile Money 2.0: Evolving from Closed Loop to Open Loop"

  • Marcello Ribeiro Trovão Fraiz, Caixa Economica Federal
  • Roge Solé, TIM Brazil
  • Greg Keough, Wanda

VIDEO BREAK For those of you interested in merchant dongels, such as Square, here are two Finextra videos - from WorldPay and iZettle- outlining these services:

WorldPay MasterCard and iZettle

14:34: We in for the first break of the afternoon. Be back at 15:00 for Latin America and the Caribbean.

14:32: Tak: The Banks underestimated Square. I saw Square a few years ago at Nacha Payments in the US and they were laughed at. (No one is laughing now) But the small merchant was underserved by the banks. Now we see iZettle and now WorldPay - these small merchant POS now seem to be the payments 'holy grail'

14:31: Q: What do you feel about distruptors like Square?

14:30: Tak: Ah, but it is the POS at the merchant that determines how customer pay for things. I've seen at Duane Reed (US chemist) in NY. They all have Google Wallet - but it was too expensive to train staff how to use it - so no one was trained.

14:29: Shortt Merchants need to educate their customers - but ultimately these mobile products come from the banks and the telecos. It is up to them to help the merchants.

14:27: Tak: PayPal offer massive value to consumers - which is why they can charge huge fees to retailers. But it has been the payments part of the equation that has caused PayPal the most problems. Tak warns - these other players will soon be as regulated as "we are" (the banks)

14:25: Vesco: Banks had plenty/years of opportunity to drive mobile payments and they didn't. Now it is PayPal, Google, is up to them to find the right direction to go in. We don't have the answers yet.

14:21: Not everyone thinks payments aren't sexy...

14:18: Tak: Payments is a 'low value' function for consumers. We'd had debate at ING about 'charging' for our app on iTunes (like 69c) But - shouldn't a bank just offer their customers this service? In the end we decided to offer it for free. We are basically offer a service to customers, for free, to undercut our margins. But we shouldn't be afraid of the future.

14:16: Shortt: People in the UK don't see a need for mobile 0 as they have chip and pin. Contactless will drive mobile - but the trick is driving that out from London and into the North of England and Scotland. Right now there isn't a high demand.

14:15: Q:This conference seems to based on 'supple side' is there any 'need' for the consumer to use mobile? What about the demand side?

14:11: Shortt: From a retailer POV - if we wanted to scan QR codes we'd have to revamp our POS terminals. Every time there is a new tech - the merchants need to payout to upgrade their systems.

14:09: Salci: NFC is the best solution for face to face payments - but not the only option. It will take a central role - but not only role

14:08: Q: Is NFC central to the success of mobile payments in Europe?

14:07: Time for questions form the audience for our Europeans!

14:05: Vesco: QR codes can change 'window shopping' into 'real' shopping

14:03: Tak: If you look at it on the macro level - we are all on loyalty - will that increase retail spend? There is only a finite amount of money out there.

14:01: Shortt: Merchants do not do a good enough job educating the customers on how to use mobile payments.


13:59: Easier said than done...

13:57: Tak: We don't see an end to the plastic card any time soon - so, as a bank, we still have the cost of the plastic card (as well of mobile channel)

13:56: Vesco: The business model future needs to include couponing, loyalty, location - to bring people into the store to add real value

13:55: Q: What business model is going to win?

13:52: Tak: There is real opportunity to innovate in how customer pay for items in the store - changing that dynamic. Q: Can Boots comment?

13:50: Tak: We are trying to find a balance between ease of use and security. It can't be too difficult for users - they will just go back to cards

13:46: Salci: What is a 'mobile payment?' NFC is one. Wallets. Every mobile payments option has different demands and different problems.

13:45: Shortt: For Boots mobile payments are straightforward. But when you add 'loyalty' to that - that isn't as smooth for the customer. We are working to make that process smoother.

13:44: Tak: Customers want things - They expect banks to offer mobile; but they don't want to pay more for service than they do for cards

13:42: Q: Despite the hype, mobile payments has yet to take off - are consumers clamoring for mobile?

13:39: Tak/ING: The youngest mobile banking user is 103 - so mobile is not just for the young! <==Take *that* GenY!

13:38: Shortt: Boots is currently rolling out contactless in UK market - now about 60% there. We are also looking at NFC.

13:35: Panel Twitter IDs ready...

13:32: Audience are excited by the presence of a 'real-life' merchant on the panel!

13:30: Europe session starting now

1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Europe session: "Mobile Payment is a Reality in Europe: Bank, Telco and Retailer Perspectives on the Physical and Digital Retail Convergence and Who will Offer Killer Services"

  • Nigel Shortt, Boots UK
  • Peter Vesco, Deutsche Telekom AG
  • Eric Tak, ING
  • Ali Salci, Turkcell

12:16: Ok, folks (now that I'm back on Spanish time ;-) that's a wrap for the morning session. Back at 1:30 for the session on Europe.

12:10: Pheng: I wish I had all the answers. Some of the issues we face are encouraging partners to join us when the payout is not immediately clear. We also need to look at the local community to look for acceptance points and commonality. But these are less of a problem as we are a small country.

12:09: Q: What are the greatest challenges in Singapore in creating value-added services to drive NFC

12:04: AUDIENCE MEMBER TALKING ABT SINGAPORE:We have a lot of comfort knowing we have all the parties together and open. From the banks' perspective - it's all about the customer journey.

11:56 MC: *laughs* 'We didn't anticipate that Q!' PayPass is inter-operable.

11:55: Good Q from the audience. How does MasterCard deal with global partners who have different or competing alliances in various markets?

11:52: Pheng: The mobile consortium in Singapore is a 'fine balance'. There are 'trade offs' but all the players have to be open and work together.

11:50: Hyde: In NZ mobile operators would drive mobile adoption, while banks would drive POS adoption. It helps to 'lay out' the responsibilities.

11:46:Hyde: The NZ operators didn't see an aggressive move into the payments market as the best approach. The key tool was the creation of an early set of principals that have helped us 'take stock'. However, making sure we 'tighten up' all the 'legal bits and pieces' has slowed the NZ mobile infrastructure projects down (a bit)

11:40:Hyde: The payments has the least amount of value from an operator perspective. Using NFC for transport presents a very pleasant user experience.

11:38:Komoro: We are looking to use NFC for more than just payments

11:36:Q: How will DOCOMO alliance with MasterCard drive business?

11:31:Hyde: We are expecting all major retailers to have touch and go by 2013

11:30:New Zealand speaking now

11:28:Not sure how 'the West' can learn from Singapore's model. Very high central control. All players involved. Would that workd in Europe/UK/US? *what do you think?

11:27:Singapore services launched since 2012 - mobile credit cards, prepaid card and stored value card

11:26It seems like the Asia Pacific session will be a series of presentations - not sure if a debate will happen

11:23: Government heavily involved in moving Singapore into am intelligent connected mobile City (advantages of a semi-dictatorship City State :-)

11:21:Singapore NFC experience up now. 8 million mobile subscriptions, which is high for a small City state.

11:19:DOCOMO's iD will be powered by MasterCard PayPass - will be able to be used at PayPass locations, globally

11:15:DOCOMO explaining their Mobile Credit Payments service right now

11:15:(OK, technical hiccup resolved) Let's start

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Asia Pacific session: "NFC in 2013: Decisions Have Been Made, Bets Have Been Placed. Time to Deliver"

  • Tan Eng Pheng, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
  • Takashi Komoro, NTT DOCOMO
  • Edward Hyde, Telecom NZ

10:45:Bit of a break folks (phew!) be back soon. We'll be back with a session on Asia Pacific.

10:42:Galant: 'To me the answer is obvious - the customer owns their data...on consumer privacy, anything that is a 'grey area' is bad.<==Hey, does that mean we get a cut? ;-)

10:41:Q: Who owns the data?

10:40:Dorff: The first person who knows where you are in the world is your mobile operator - even before your feet hit the tarmac

10:37:Hughes: We are 'in affect' the 'slave' to the 'master' of the banks (Hughes is from Isis - if you didn't know)

10:36:Q: What is the most complex aspect of the digital world (switching SIMS)?

10:30:Galant: The 'card' system hasn't changed in 50 years. However, today you 'save' the card on website or 'save' the card on your phone. If any of those sites are compromised - you have a problem. The current system is not capable of handing the way we use payments today. 'Saving' the card is "fundamentally flawed" as a digital model.

10:26:Hughes: the questions are are asking regs at banks are: What happens if people pull the sim out? or lose the phone? If there is a secure element - the bank can shut that down. When you are dealing in a world of 'massive fraud' you need to take this and the banks' business very seriously.

10:25:Hughes: Why do we need a 'secure element?' In the US - a 'card present' transaction has more meaning with merchants than 'card not present'. The cards need to get on the secure element. I can say, speaking with the banks 'is not easy'

10:23:Q: How willing are you to work with telcos?

10:22:MODERATOR: 'Citi is not going to 'wait for the market - they're pushing forward in mobile payments'

10:15:Galant: There is a difference btw 'building, testing and learning' and migrating "the largest credit card network in the world. At Citi, we are done with 'learning, testing etc..."

10:12:Galant: Lack of NFC has been offered as the reason why mobile hasn't taken off in the US. That isn't true. We haven't presented a compelling enough commerce experience for the consumer. It is hard to see the ROI

10:09:Galant: There is a 'big fixed cost' to operating a mobile infrastructure. As a bank, I need to make sure I see a return. To date, it has been a very tough analysis. No one knows how much money they will make by "putting a piece of plastic' in a phone.

10:07:Dorff: For anything to be successful depends on the specific ecosystems available. The environment in North America is interesting. In Canada - 80% of transactions are done on a 'contactless terminal'(but not necessarily all 'tap and go'

10:03:Hughes: Working with merchants for 'card present' transactions - in order to enable the type of transactions merchant want to offer.Consumers want Wallets that are: 'smart, simple, convenient'.

10:00:ED: Not sure I follow Dorff's answer. Basically, 'we're building on success of 2012' - great

9:58:Q: Will 2013 finally be the year of mobile we're all been waiting for?

9:56:Galant: 'I'm a little tired (of NFC bashing) "Who cares?" Whether it's NFC, a QR code or "passing a note to your friend" it doesn't matter. What matters is the 'business model' that 'engages with the consumer'. I don't think you *have* to tie mobile commerce to NFC. If you use NFC you use NFC - if not, you'll use something else

9:53:Hughes: NFC has been around for a decade. The technology is not suspect. However, if you're waiting for NFC to explode and it's not on the handset - it's not very exciting. However, we are seeing now, that NFC is 'more than a promise'.

9:53:Q: Is NFC 'not for commerce'?

9:52:Hughes: Mobile commerce is not about moving from a 'swipe to a tap' it's about the whole experience.

9:49:Galant: Creating a 'commerce' experience is valuable to consumers. You phone should be able to 'see offer, tap offer, buy offer' There is just a better way to do this.' Galant talking about how mobile commerce is more than just 'payments' - it's the whole retail experience

9:47:Q: Is mobile payments a solution searching for a problem?

9:46:North American payments panel now - Will 13 be a lucky number?

9:45:"Format of the day is designed to be 'interactive'" - says MasterCard moderator - don't be shy!

9:41:Ed McLaughlin welcoming the guests now.'Changes in how we 'interact' will change how we 'transact'.

9:34:MasterCard maestro Ed McLaughlin rehearsing his speech before the show (and managed to find Dunkin' Donuts coffee! #jealous)

9:30: Waiting for the audience to arrive. Word is AM Barcelona traffic is killer. Not too many people happy with the new MWC venue (big tho)

9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. - North America session: "Will '13 Be a Lucky Number? An Exploration of What It Will Take to Move Mobile Payments from Concept/Hype to Reality"

  • Paul Galant, Citi
  • Ryan Hughes, Isis
  • Jeppe Dorff, Rogers Communications

9:10: Made it! Bit of a struggle - but I am now seated and ready for the Symposium to start at 9:30 (and WiFi works!)

08:32: The calm before the storm people. I'm heading down to Hall 8 to set up for the Symposium. Prays to the gods of WiFi for me folks!

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