A brief comment (from RetailWire) about the fast-growing field of “mobile payment” technology. The big question is whether this will achieve critical mass among consumers…or when:
Mobile payments looks like the next tech battlefield for share of consumers’ wallets. (Full disclosure: My son works for Braintree, a division of PayPal which itself is owned by eBay.) Not only is Amazon getting into the act, but Facebook recently hired away the head of PayPal — evidently to ramp up its own mobile payment efforts. All of these companies are finding more robust uses for their mobile sites.
I see two questions looming over the mobile payment industry: First, as more players enter the field (Amazon, Facebook, etc.), will a price war break out in terms of fees charged to merchants? And, more importantly, how quickly will consumers embrace the entire “mobile wallet” concept? The synergy between smartphones and providers’ mobile sites can be powerful, but only if consumers accept the security and privacy assurances of “pay as you go” systems.