Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tour de Mobile Payments - The Mobile Wallet & Main Street

By Randy Smith,
Mobile Wallet Media
September 12, 2012

How will mobile payments mesh best with Main Street?

It seems like it's gotten as complex and confusing as can be for retailers and even the mobile payment service providers themselves. 

We'll provide a legend to map out all the pieces, as well as strategy and opinion. At Tour's end the future of mobile commerce may be a bit more clear.

A foundation was laid for this article with our feature 7-Week Series, just completed on September 10th, "The 7 S's Required for Success in Mobile Payments." If you have not read it, you've missed much.

Before we begin the tour, let's look back at the history of contemporary mobile payments and wallets that has brought us to this point.

In 2008, Mocapay debuted at ETA and showed us an early vision of what a Mobile Wallet might look like. Another company, Mobibucks, also debuted at ETA in 2008, showcasing a solution that looks exactly like PayPal's 'Mobile Phone + PIN' entry on terminal solution (I reached out to Mobibucks, but never heard back for comment about PayPal's solution).

In 2009, MFoundry built the foundation for what would power the Starbucks Card Mobile App.

In 2010, SquareUp turned our heads by turning our iphones into a credit card terminal.  Also in 2010, TabbedOut launched by integrating directly to POS systems, thus enabling 'Pay at Table' transactions from the mobile phone without requiring a mobile POS device or to wait upon the server to pay and close out a tab. In the Summer of 2010, ISIS announced it was forming a carrier network. In the Fall of 2010, my former company, MobilePayUSA, followed by debuting at TechCrunch, giving us the first vision of what a 'Universal Mobile Wallet' might look like (Yes I'm a Homer). Paydiant and Cimbal showed us the way to turn a 2D bar code into a transaction ID and way to pay by scanning with a smartphone. And, Dwolla also launched reducing fees to 25 cents a transaction for merchants. 

In January of 2011, Starbucks Card Mobile launched and by March had already provided a solid proof of concept for the Mobile Wallet. Corfire was developed and would become the platform of choice for Dunkin Donuts. Google Wallet utilized MasterCard's PayPass to launch it's Mobile Wallet in the Summer of 2011.

2012 saw Visa debut V.Me at ETA, but has yet to make a push as a Mobile Wallet. PayPal, though it debuted a Digital Wallet in the Fall of 2011 and has showed us two alternative ways to pay, but has yet to debut a Mobile Wallet in the USA. PayPal has however shown us a preview of their Mobile Wallet plans in the UK.

This past Summer, Levelup and Kuapay showed us how to sprint with flair and relevance. After a Spring announcement, MCX revealed it's identity as a Merchant Coalition Mobile Wallet. Dunkin Donuts also got into the race and is powered by Corfire. And Moneto just recently announced it's Mobile Wallet works with PayPass. 

Will Apple's Passbook, teamed with the iphone5 (with NFC) and iO6 soon become a Mobile Wallet? 

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