Analysts Discuss Why Mobile Payments Are Big

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2010-08-21 Print this article Print


"Mobile payments have been a stagnant technology," Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney told eWEEK. "I am sure that both parties see this as something that needs to be solved and see it as a challenge and future battleground."

In hiring Benjamin Vigier to head its mobile commerce efforts, Apple demonstrated that it may be ready to make its popular iPhone smartphone an electronic wallet of sorts.

NFC technology would allow users to call up a bar code on their smartphone screen and swipe it across a checkout scanner. One swipe, one purchase. Done.

"The goal is to replace the credit card with the phone eventually, and that has a number of advantages from the standpoint of preventing identity theft and allowing people to better manage and protect their credit because a phone is more difficult to compromise than a credit card is," industry analyst Rob Enderle told eWEEK.

If it's such a no-brainer, why aren't Apple, Google and their smartphone rivals Microsoft, Nokia and RIM doing this already?

"The problem is the banks and carriers are at odds at how they should be doing this and the banks own the current ecosystem, so making this move hasn't been easy," Enderle added. 

Even so, there are a number of players aggressively going after this space because of the great financial potential, not the least of which would be to make more consumers buy smartphones.

Why wouldn't people put aside their leather billfolds and wallets to be able to pay for clothes or groceries with their phones?

"No one vendor could allow another to significantly lead in this area," Enderle said. "Between Apple and Google, I'd give Google the edge particularly if they hooked up with PayPal, but it clearly is anyone's game at the moment." 



Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel