Mobile payment is an alternative payment method that allows customers to replace cash, check, credit card and even walled with a digital version. According to the global analyst firm Ovum, one of the 2014 trend is the usage of m-payment and digital wallet services. Ovum’s Consumer Insight Survey reveals that when choosing between different forms of mobile payment method consumer tend to lean towards services that are strongly associated with financial brands: 43% of respondents chose banks as their most trusted m-payments service provider, followed by credit card companies (13%), online payment providers (9%) and then mobile operators (6%).
First, I would like to start with a mobile payment service that has been launched mobile operators: Isis Mobile Wallet. In November 2010, a payment platform called Isis Mobile Wallet was jointly launched nationwide by the three major US carriers (AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile) in partnership with the banking and financial company Wells fargo (fourth largest bank in the US). Isis allows customers to make payments using their smartphones. Few major retail stores are already part of the payment project: America Eagle Outfitters, Urban Outfitters, Office Depot, BP, Toys “R” Us, Jamba Juice, Coca-Cola and much more. According to Isis’ spokesperson: “twenty-five of the top 100 national retailers have deployed or are deploying contactless terminals that support Isis.” So how does Isis really work? Android users need to get a special SIM card from their carrier containing the requisite secure element to process payments, while iPhone users need to get a special secured phone case. Once users have set up their digital wallet with up to eight credit cards, they can use their phone to make any kind of payment. With Isis, making payment is fast and easy: user only have to launch the app, enter a PIN, choose from one of the multiple accounts they have and hold their device in front of a checkout terminal.
The second example is the UK’s leading mobile payment innovation, Zapp, expected to be launched in Summer 2014. The company which managed to secure deals with banks (HSBC, First Direct, Nationwide, Santander and Metro Bank ) and a payment processing company, Worldpay, will facilitate payment in-store and online. Indeed, customers will be able to make instant and secure payment from their bank account via their mobile banking app. Once at the till or at the online checkout, customers will receive a code to enable the payment. Or alternatively, they will be able to scan a code into the handset from a bill in a restaurant or from a screen of a modern card machine. From next summer, customers will be able to use their mobiles to pay for goods at thousands of stores across Britain. Few stores such as WH Smith, Lidl, Superdrug and McDonald’s have already signed up to the scheme.
Finally, T-Mobile latest service fits perfectly its “UnCarrier” agenda and follow one of the trend of the year. The company wants to be more than a carrier in the US market, it now wants to become a bank for its customers. To do so, the company announced on Monday 28th January 2014 the launch of its free money management service – Mobile Money – combining a smartphone app with a branded prepaid Visa card. From now on, T-Mobile customers will be able to deposit checks into their Mobile Money account by simply taking a picture of the check with their phone, they will be able to withdraw money from one of the 42,000 ATMs as well as being able to add cash onto their account by going to T-Mobile stores (non-T-Mobile customers would pay additional fees). In accordance with the m-payment and digital wallet services, there will be no maintenance fees, minimum balances or activation fees.