The mobile wallet and the device race, international style

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In our cover story “The Device Race,” we evaluate the future of the physical means used to conduct and/or record transactions, from barcode key fobs to mag-stripe cards to Near-Field Communications (NFC) to EMV chips. The story also covered mobile wallets, allowing transactions via handsets–the most prominent entry into tha field being Google Wallet. So, if Google’s involved, there must be a trend brewing, right?

Another way to confirm a trend is to build an association around it–such as the recently announced Hungarian Mobile Wallet Association. “Magyar Telekom, Telenor and Vodafone have joined arm-in-arm with three market leader operators – MasterCard, OTP Bank and SuperShop,” the Association notes. “This united move of Hungary’s MNOs [mobile network operators] may ensure that Hungary will be among the first countries where mobile NFC services may be launched in Europe.”

Further from an HMWA statement: “The aim of the Association is to design and articulate as a recommendation the prerequisite technological standards for mobile NFC services and to submit proposals towards the successful implementation of the service, to ensure that partners may freely join the service as well as to implement the necessary education related to the implementation of the innovative mobile NFC services…. The underlying philosophy behind NFC services is actually very simple: every card and cash substituting device of payment we currently keep in our wallet can “move” into mobile phones. The use of contactless bank cards (e.g. PayPass) through the mobile phone constitutes only one pillar of such services, and equally important is the embodiment in an electronic form of loyalty cards, coupons, travel and entrance tickets.”

Such movement is picking up speed in North America. Perhaps an association is in our future (if there isn’t already one out there that I’ve overlooked).

By the way, “The Device Race” cited further evidence of this mobile wallet trend in an interesting way. MasterCard Worldwide conducted a survey, deilvering this stat: “Of women, 45% (versus 34% of men) would rather have their phones than their wallets surgically attached so they’d always remember them when leaving the home.”

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Bill Brohaugh
As managing editor, Bill Brohaugh is responsible for the day-to-day management and editorial for the COLLOQUY magazine and colloquy.com, the most comprehensive loyalty marketing web site in the world. In addition to writing many of the feature articles, Bill develops the editorial calendar, hires and manages outside writers and researchers and oversees print and online production. He also contributes to COLLOQUY's weekly email Market Alert and the COLLOQUYTalk series of white papers.

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