M-wallet technology will struggle for adoption without greater cooperation

9 July 2012

The development of mobile wallet technology is being hampered by a number of ‘hidden controls’ that have not been widely identified or explored, according to the bank-led Mobey Forum trade body.

Mobey Forum’s white paper entitled ‘Mobile Wallet: The Hidden Controls reviews the external forces that dictate how consumers and merchants engage with mobile wallet technology in day-to-day activities. It defines and analyses a series of ‘hidden control points’, which map the commercial areas where stakeholders will compete to influence the acceptance and adoption of mobile wallet technology.

“As the first wave of mobile wallet solutions start to appear, the market’s attention remains fixed on mobile wallet apps and the devices where they reside,” said Amir Tabakovic, head of market development for PostFinace and chair of the Mobey Forum mobile wallet task force. “We think this is unbalanced; the mobile wallet ecosystem is highly complex and its component parts are interdependent. The market’s failure to adequately consider the external forces influencing the mobile wallet is preventing the technology from fulfilling its full potential.”

Mobey Forum’s executive director, Sirpa Nordlund, added that it had already established, “that providing an ‘easy way to pay’ will not be enough to guarantee mass market adoption of the mobile wallet.

“Consumers must be lured away from their conventional wallets by the promise of some unique, additional value in return for agreeing to change their behaviour. But how will these new value-oriented [loyalty-type] services integrate with the payments systems? What will motivate merchants to accept mobile wallet payments and what form will the acceptance infrastructure take? What are the integration issues? These are the kinds of questions we address in our latest paper.”

By Neil Ainger

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