China Unionpay forms m-payments alliance

A panel discussion at CTIA in April revealed some sharply differing views on the emerging mobile financial services ecosystem and the role of different players within it.

Mobile Commerce Daily cited James Anderson, VP, of the center of excellence for mobile, MasterCard Worldwide, saying, “We have run numerous m-payment trials around the world, and it is on the cusp of commercial deployment. Consumers want the experience and see value in the experience of making payments using their handset.”

“The thing that has kept MasterCard pushing away at m-payments is the consistently positive response we’ve received from consumers,” he adds, according to the article. “For me what distinguishes the mobile phone and makes it device of choice is its ability to consolidate all that the consumer wants to do with financial services.

“With a mobile device you can consolidate all of those aspects of financial services in a way that is much more convenient for consumers, as well as the fundamental activity of going in to a store and buying things—you can’t do that with a computer.”

“Payments is not a monolithic domain—there’s ecommerce that will become m-commerce, POS payments and casual P2P payments. POS payment is through contactless and the technology path we’ve chosen is NFC.”

“MoneySend is essentially card-to-card funds transfers mediated through the phone, and we’re working on the mobile Web—there will be no single technology because there are different use cases,” he said.

Perhaps not surprisingly PayPal has other ideas: eBay Mobile has $600 million dollar business via its iPhone application and WAP site, which makes it the world’ biggest m-commerce entity, according to the same article. Its subsidiary PayPal also has several smartphone applications and is the payment mechanism for all eBay sites and applications. The company is reportedly not as enthusiastic about NFC mobile payments.

“While NFC has been in development for four or five years, m-payment is happening now, Eric Duprat, GM of mobile at PayPal told the panel. “Remote payment makes transactions easier, so the value proposition of m-payments is stronger, and we’ll see more e-commerce move onto mobile because the value proposition is there.

“There is a lot of savings you can provide to make those transactions instantly via mobile without intermediaries right and left to make it happen – it’s a great example of what the future can be,” he was reported saying. “The speed of change in mobile is mind boggling, and that acceleration is going to continue, innovation is going to continue, and it’s an exciting space to be working in.

“We believe that your wallet will be in the cloud — it’s important that your wallet is accessible on all devices but not reside on all devices — that’s what we need for mobile payments to become ubiquitous.”

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