Report: Global M-Payment Development Favors No Single Technology Yet (April 2, 2013)
Mobile payments are evolving at different rates around the globe, with Asia leading other regions including Latin America, Europe and North America in growth. However, progress is uneven and it remains unclear which payment technology will prevail worldwide, according to a new report from Amsterdam-based payments consulting firm Innopay. In Japan, for example, contactless payments took hold years ago and became “the de facto standard method” for mobile payment, with NFC payments integrated with retail and public transportation, the 110-page report notes, while mobile payments using cloud-based architecture and QR codes are on the rise worldwide. Latin America lags behind other regions in mobile payments but mobile network operators there have the early lead in developing payment systems that could trigger explosive growth if adopted on a mass basis. Europe’s mobile payment development is progressing steadily, and some nations, such as Sweden, where less than 3 percent of all transactions involve cash, are aiming to become “cashless in the near future.”
The United States remains a hotbed of mobile payment development where “the playing field keeps getting progressively more crowded,” and competitors have a “winner-takes-all” approach versus collaborating, Innopay says. In such a “layered, developed” market, consumer habits are hard to change, given the high penetration robust providers such as MasterCard, Visa and PayPal, all offering mobile wallets alongside startups, such as Google Wallet and Isis. The arrival of the merchant-led MCX mobile payment program has only intensified an “already fragmented ecosystem of players and initiatives vying for control [that] became even more divided and complex,” Innopay says. It will take “at least until 2014” before mobile payment fraud-prevention methods catch up to promises, and widespread U.S. NFC adoption is still “at least a few years” off, the report predicts.