Mobile Wallet Media is a news media, analyst, marketing and consulting firm focused on the future of mobile: payments, marketing, loyalty commerce, security, prepaid, virtual currency, daily deals and the convergence of them all with social and local. The Chief Editor, Randy Smith, was the primary founder, inventor and former CEO of MobilePayUSA, a TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Alley Winner.
In past two weeks we’ve seen a slew of announcements prior to the mobile payment/wallet industry’s upcoming ‘Super Bowl Event’, Money2020. No clear universal standard enabling ubiquitous mobile payments has emerged, quite to the contrary, with PayPal and Apple both announcing beacon services and quirky Clinkle making a 25-million dollar, sound NOT heard round the world, splash into mobile/digital payments. While the payments industry does not face the problems our nation now faces with reaching a consensus on the national debt, a budget and healthcare, it still has some pretty big problems to overcome to achieve scale. But alas, recent announcements by PayPal, Apple, Facebook, LevelUp, CARDFREE and Paydiant show real signs of life for advancing mobile payments.
Mobile payments for years now has been the hottest and largest trend, promising to transform not just the way we pay, but the way we shop, save, send money and pay bills. After years of cautious experimentation, the mobile/digital wallet service providers are beginning to strike accord with retailers nationwide. Using mobile payments to engage tech savvy and loving consumers is a winning focus. After all, the tech-affluent, early adopting Millennials and those in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s with well above average incomes and represent a majority of future retail shopping in America.
Interestingly Apple, which has shown they dominate mobile shopping and has over half a trillion iTunes account users, has not come out with a mobile wallet announcement or adoption of NFC. Yet Apple did make a big splash with it’s new fingerprint sensor in the home button of the 5S. Apple also seems to be embarking upon a path parallel to PayPal with their iOS7 announcement of the inclusion of Bluetooth Low Energy via iBeacon. Paired with Passbook, it sure seems like they are setting the table to have mobile payments over for dinner soon (2014) and announce a mobile/digital wallet. Why not until then? They are not even taking part in Money2020.
PayPal has fully switched gears to engage mobile payments with the announcements of their new digital/mobile payment app and the announcement of PayPal Beacon.
So what gives? Is ‘Beacon’ the new bacon or latest Hollywood theme movie launched in tandem release or will BLE be adopted in mass by retailers nationwide? It does have it’s advantages over NFC (in most all new smart phones) and Geo-location (no signal, no ability to transact). I guess time will tell.
Of course digital or virtual currencies and mobile gift cards have been all the rage this year as well with Facebook, Gyft, Wrapp, Marqeta and a variety of Bitcoin ventures launching. Mobile/Digital gift cards, ‘Bonus-Buy gift cards’, daily deals and virtual currencies may soon gain a sizeable market share from conventional credit and debit tender types. Mobile/digital wallet level the playing field and open new opportunities for tender steering and advance capture of sales, through what I’ve previously called "Lock ‘n’ Sold" and a "Universal Advertising Methodology".
It also appears the ATM machine may soon become an endangered species unless it becomes a kiosk offering a variety of bill payment and deal offers. But even if ATM operators make this transformation, this too may be short lived as mobile/digital wallets rise in prominence.
I’ve covered all these stories in greater detail the past few months in articles here at MobileWalletMedia.com.
So what’s next? During Money2020 I’m sure keynotes MCX, Google Wallet, ISIS and First Data will also make major announcements. I look forward to covering this wild-wild west, mobile-money event.
The 'Disruptive Innovation Meteor' named MOBILE has struck the world's of retail payments, banking and marketing. Firms wanting to survive, compete and win in this new environment must adapt by embracing disruptive innovation or risk becoming irrelevant or extinct. Read story