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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mobile Banking - Payments with Drew Sievers

Last week I had the privilege of speaking with Drew Sievers (CEO - mFoundry). We have spoken previously, yet each time I leave further impressed by his knowledge and understanding of mobile banking industry.

On this occasion we discussed a number of recent events, but the topic that most captured my attention was "mobile payments." During the call, I mentioned reading that "virtual wallets" are 18+ months from becoming practical and asked Drew to share his thoughts on the topic of wallets...payments...and the future.

Drew began by explaining that the term "mobile payments" is a really an over-arching initiative that is comprised of four different phases, and that the virtual wallet component is actually the fourth and final phase. When I asked him to clarify, here is how he described the landscape unfolding:

Phase 1) Bill Payments through the Phone. Similar to online bill pay except using the mFoundry solution to authorize payments through the mobile device.

Phase 2) Peer to Peer Payments. mFoundry will facilitate the movement of funds between mobile devices.

Phase 3) Non-Contactless POS Transactions. This scenario would involve a client receiving a 4 digit code on their mobile device which they would then hand-key into a POS terminal.

Phase 4) Contactless and NFC. Having a chip embedded into the device which is waived over a reader to authorize the payment.

Through this approach Drew was able to illustrate for me that while virtual wallets may be some time off mobile payments (i.e. phase 1) is here today.

Now, I've been heavily involved in the industry for some time and have participated in discussions about all of these topics; yet, this is the first time that I've seen the pieces of the puzzle come together. This 4-phase description helped crystallize for me how the future of "mobile payments" is likely to unfold. So, I decided to share it with you...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These aren't really "phases" are they? Pushed e-billing via mobile seems like a reasonable proposition to me, but it's not a stepping stone on the way to NFC, it's a different payment mechanism entirely. Also, the progress toward NFC depends on the spread of contactless infrastructure, not the spread of m-payment infrastructure, if you see what I mean. Thanks for an interesting post though.