Fed Group Report Cites Collaboration, Tech Advances in M-Payments (May 9, 2013)
Over the past two years, the mobile retail payments landscape has been marked by collaboration across diverse industry players, increased channel and technological convergence, market entry by nonbank entities, and technological innovation and experimentation. Those were among the findings of a new white paper issued by the Federal Reserve Banks of Atlanta and Boston, which together convened the Mobile Payments Industry Workgroup (MPIW), a consortium of 42 mobile payments industry participants, including several retailers.
The group’s new report, titled U.S. Mobile Payments Landscape – Two Years Later, is the follow-up to a paper it issued in March 2011. In the 2011 report, the MPIW argued that more collaboration was needed among industry participants to establish mobile payment standards and uniform solutions, such as those provided by more traditional payment methods like checks and payment cards. Such inter-party cooperation has been robust over the past two years, , leading to new mobile payment business models emerging more quickly than some MPIW members originally had expected, including the Isis mobile wallet, which is in pilot in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas. Handset manufacturers also have played a major role in developing mobile payments by announcing plans to add NFC capability to their handsets in the near future, which could help “alleviate some barriers to adoption of NFC mobile payments,” the report noted. Despite their praise of progress, the report authors say much remains to be done and industry players must continue to work together. “[W]ithout continued collaboration and movement toward open access, the likelihood of achieving mass adoption and the associated benefits to stakeholders, consumers and the payment system is uncertain,” the report said.