Mobile Money

One of the possible killer app environments of the Mobile Future is thought to be in Mobile Money. This is the main reason why initiatives are so wide spread across the industry. What you see happening is telco’s like Telenor kicking in claiming a very low cost service using SIMcard technology, banks and credit card companies teaming up to make world wide services available, hardware vendors coming up with phones with NFC (near field communication) and software companies like Boku that use operator billing as an opportunity.

Most probably we will see a lot of experiments and at some point technologies will converge to a couple, major ones. As technology companies tend to believe that this will happen with the speed of light, I agree with one speaker at the MWC, it will take a lot of time. Look at “paying with plastic”. For over decades this is thought to take over cash payments but still on a world wide scale over 85% is still cash based! Sure that in some markets based on preferences and maturity of payment solutions this differs but still…..

Looking at the above makes me feel that there will be techniques used in emerging markets where there is no payment infrastructure already, techniques used in mature payment markets and all of that combined with a “couleur locale” because payment has cultural aspects to it too.

So it is not that hard to understand why Nokia announced this week to step away from Mobile Money. It will probably take a great deal of (mobile) money to establish a new payment ecosystem. Until that day the shake out will continue!

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