We have been hearing for a while now that some form of mobile payments was going to become the third most popular way for us to pay for purchases, with cards and cash remaining as the main two.
However, despite a lot of talk from some important figures and much excitement among technology gurus we have not seen much progress on that front. NFC, which has been lauded by some as the next big thing has struggled to be adopted by retailers, shoppers or even phone manufacturers.
In addition to this Barclays have announced Pingit, a service which allows its customers to transfer funds from their account to any other account held by the bank using their mobile phone. Shortly after the Payments Council also revealed that they are going to develop a platform which opens this opportunity up to any UK bank or building society customer.
Both these developments could turn out to be crucial to mobiles finally being seen by the wider public as realistic payment tools. Once we are used to and, most importantly, feel secure transferring money between accounts in this way, it will surely leave us only a step away from making regular payments with our phones.
Right now it seems that the whole idea is so far withdrawn from our lives that many of us cannot really say whether we would use m-payments or not. Fraud is also a huge stumbling block here.
It is great to see two respected and trusted organisations finally taking the lead on this. It may not be a fully developed payment channel right now but is surely a massive leap towards it. Currently it opens up mobile payments to businesses which accept money transfers and those consumers who are happy to pay in this way. One of the groups which will surely see a huge potential here must be those self-employed, who will now be able to take payments on the spot, as long as their customer also uses the system.
The premise at the moment may be just for bank transfers, but it is clear that the potential for a much wider adoption is massive. It should also help everyone get used to m-payments and aid the adoption of NFC and other similar developments.
Written by Eva Grzybek from PayPoint.net – Online Payments