Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Telcos will Compete with Banks"?

Smartphones using encryption and biometrics will enable telecom companies to compete with banks and credit card companies for retail payment transactions, argues Futurist Patrick Dixon. That might not seem to be the way providers of mobile wallet services such as Google, Isis and PayPal are heading. In most cases, all of those providers require the existing payment providers to provide a complete solution. 

But there might be a difference between the ways new contestants side step into a market, and the efforts such firms might make in the future. As many strategists could argue, a common way new firms get into a market is by starting at the "low end," and then, over time, adding more and more capabilities until, at some point, full head to head competition is feasible. 

Rogers, in Canada, provides an example. Rogers is becoming a "bank," though it likely will confine its early efforts only to some highly-focused applications related to its current customer base. But it would require little imagination to suggest that, once successful, additional functions would become attractive. 

With the caveat that predicting the future is an often-perilous undertaking, and that predictions about the future are more often wrong than right, Dixon thinks big things can happen in mobile commerce, mobile payments and shopping. 

Mobile payments could generate commissions of up to EU2 billion a year in countries like France, Germany, Italy and the UK, he says.  Mobile Payments Future

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