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Square, the mobile payment upstart that's combined a credit card-reading dongle with the iPhone and iPad to take on established point-of-sale (POS) payment solutions providers, has been making frequent appearances in the news of late.
From attracting users like the Obama campaign and taxi drivers in New York City to overhauling its mobile app in an effort to drive consumers to local businesses, it appears that Square's $4bn-plus in annual payments processed could be just the tip of the iceberg.
It's easy to forget about SMS these days. After all, the rise of the smartphone has seemingly made SMS text messaging a thing of the past for many mobile phone users.
But is that really the case? Are smartphones marginalizing SMS to the point where it might be called effectively dead?
Visa Europe has acquired a 15% stake in m-commerce company Mobile Money Network (MMN), a further signal of its intent to become a dominant force in mobile payments.
MMN is the company behind the Simply Tap mobile checkout app that we reviewed yesterday.
Mobile payment app Simply Tap saw a 40% increase in registrations following a poster campaign that offered the chance to buy a Thorntons Easter egg for just 1p.
To access the offer users could either type in a code word, scan a QR code or use the app’s image recognition (IR) technology.
Mobile Money Network (MMN) corporate development director Matthew Smith said that the company, which built the app, quickly ran out of the promotional eggs due to high demand.
eBay's CEO, John Donahoe, believes that digital payments should account for a lot more of the global payments market than they currently do.
One of the big ways he's trying to make that happen is by ensuring his PayPal subsidiary grows its volume in the most promising digital payments space -- mobile. On that front, it appears he's making good progress as quietly, mobile payments have become a multi-billion dollar business for PayPal.
That, for obvious reasons, is probably not what bank executives want to hear. So it's no surprise that banks and other traditional players in the finance and payments markets are getting involved in the most promising digital payments space.
In late 2009, PayPal president John Donahoe indicated that he believed online payments should account for 20% of global payments, even though, at the time, they accounted for just 5%. His goal: find ways to grow that number.
There are a lot of ways of doing that, but none may be as promising as mobile payments.
Mobile payments can be so much more than just paying for your coffee and paper on the way into work.
As we’ve seen with mobile sites such as M&S, some consumers are willing to use mobile sites for those big one-off purchases that would have previously seen them buying online or on the High Street.
What do retailers need to do to tempt micro-payment converts to make bigger purchases?
Mobile Money Network is a joint venture between Best Buy Europe and mobile payments firm Monitise, which aims to capitalise on the growth of mobile commerce. It plans to release Simply Tap, a mobile app which allows users to pay for products via SMS.
I've been asking CEO John Miliken about the Mobile Money Network, and the future of mobile payments...
Research by YouGov has found that 91% of British consumers have not heard of NFC technology, while 70% have yet to hear of the ‘mobile wallet’.
Though Juniper Research predicts that $50bn in worldwide sales revenue will be generated by NFC mobile payments by 2014, it’s clear that there is some way to go before British shoppers turn their backs on cash in favour of their mobile.
If there's one thing major mobile carriers don't like to do, it's work together. But that appears to be what they're doing in the mobile payment space. Considering how tight the market is, that's a move credit card companies might not be too happy about. Because while credit card companies may need carriers to get into mobile payments, they may also soon learn those same carriers don't need them.
Paythru provides mobile payments for a range of clients, including charities and local authorities, as well as retailers getting into mobile commerce.
I've been speaking to Paythru MD Keith Brown about the company, and the challenges of making mobile payments easy for customers.