The article opens with an interesting question. It begs the follow-up question, do people in the U.S. actually want to use mobile payments? And better yet, what is it going to take to get folks to want to use mobile payments?
From a MasterCard and card network association perspective, it likely does not matter where the payment is actually coming from. MasterCard’s primary goal is to accelerate the shift from physical to digital payments via any means possible. MasterCard will happily work with Apple and Google, the banks, automobile, Internet of Things or television sectors. MasterCard’s job is to be an enabler and to work with its biggest partners (the banks included) to provide as much surface area as possible for people to make digital payments.
Mastercard’s move to cooperate with its issuers and enable a wide swathe of its banking partners with the mobile wallet API building blocks positions the network to blanket the field when consumers eventually begin to step to the plate. The implicit trust model banks have long traded on will serve as part of the answer to the concerns of the “security guardians” segment MasterCard refers in its featured slide in the article. However, it is Mercator’s position that wide scale adoption and use of mobile wallets will remain anemic until there is near ubiquity in POS acceptance of a scheme, and it actually provides the consumer some sort of advantage to its use and the work to re-learn a payment behavior
Further, until either merchants create inducements to abandon use of physical cards (less likely in the near term except in certain Walmart stores in Canada) outweighs the fear of mobile payment wallets (fear of the unknown, data security fears, fear of appearing inept), compelling U.S. consumers to adopt mobile payments will be running against the wind. At this time, it does not matter if it’s their bank or the manufacturer of their mobile device that is getting folks to use mobile wallets…it’s the prospect of a free coffee.
Overview by Joseph Walent, Senior Analysts, Emerging Technologies at Mercator Advisory Group
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