Friday, July 22, 2011

Mobile Payments on the Rise, But Growth is Slowing Down

What are the two things you never leave your house without days? Probably your smart phone and your wallet. Wouldn’t it be nice if the two were one and you could pay for all of your purchases from your mobile device?

That is certainly where the mobile payments industry is headed but a recent Gartner report indicates that despite the rise in mobile payments, growth has slowed.  According to the report, mobile payment users will hit 141.1 million in 2011, a 38.2% increase from 2010. 

New technologies such as near field communications (NFC) and quick response (QR) codes are promising to facilitate the adoption of mobile payments by making it easy for consumers to tap a terminal or scan a barcode to make a payment. Google is getting in on the game with its new mobile payment service, Google Wallet which is expected to launch later this summer.

Over the past several years, I’ve worked with clients that are developing new technologies in the mobile payments space. There is no lack of innovation in this market, but the lack of standardization is making it hard for any one solution to make it mainstream. In addition, security and privacy remain big barriers to adoption by many consumers. 

There are a lot of players in this market and it seems like more mobile payment startups are launching every week. There is no question that mobile payments are the way of the future. But, until all of the players in the mobile payment ecosystem can play nice and set up an infrastructure that guarantees the security and privacy of users, cash and credit will remain king.