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Telcos losing mind-share in mobile wallet race

13 March 2013  |  10312 views  |  2 Global map pins

Banks, credit card companies and online payment firms are overtaking mobile operators and telco consortia as the predicted future leaders of the m-commerce revolution, according to research from SAP.

The survey of 300 mobile professionals was conducted on-site at the GSMA Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. It reflects the sentiments of mobile operators, fixed telecommunication providers, over-the-top (OTT) players and other global mobile industry executives.

When asked which industry sectors would likely be the leaders of future successful mobile payments offerings, 29% plumped for banks, 28% for online payment schemes, such as PayPal, Apple iTunes or Amazon Payments, while credit card schemes gained parity with operator consortia on 26%.

The answers show a sharp reversal of fortunes for credit card networks and online payment firms from when the same question was posed at the previous year's show in 2012. At the time mobile operators were riding high on 26% of the count, above banks on 24%. Online payment networks scored only 19%, while credit cards ranked a lowly 10%.

Survey results also revealed that the "secret sauce" for creating a better retail experience includes location-based point-of-sale offerings (24%), point-of-sale services such as near field communication (NFC) (28%) and facilitating universal acceptance of mobile payments (25%).

Over a third of those polled believed that the lack of consumer awareness and too much confusion around the offerings were holding back mobile wallet services.

The results come as Isis, the pre-eminent mobile operator network founded by US telcos, moves to redevelop its mobile app from the ground-up after a lacklustre showing at its first commercial pilots. The service scored a bare 600 Isis-taps per day on Salt Lake City's transit system, out of 150,000 daily rides.

Isis has turned to Mutual Mobile, an app development start up in Austin Texas, to redevelop the interface for a smoother performance over the clunky version 1.0 app provided by C-Sam, which will continue to run the back-end processing.

Comments: (2)

Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 15 March, 2013, 16:26

I promise that I hadn't read this article when I wrote, "Forget about fearing them, savvy banks will simply bypass TELCOs to maintain their leadership in financial services." in this Finextra post!

Banks Have Nothing To Fear From TELCOs

David Abbott - Fiserv - London | 16 March, 2013, 20:49

You are not the only one - I have been decrying the Hype around Mobile Operators becoming the leaders in mobile payments and complementing banks with mobile products such as Barclays/Simpay - I learned that Mobile Operators really dont have what it takes as i spent some time working on the doomed Simpay project.....  Juniper research got it wrong for years.

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