A number of well recognized companies, as well as smaller businesses that are far less well known, are now vying to become the head of the practical mobile payment marketplace.
According to research director for commercial banking and payments, Andy Schmidt, from TowerGroup, “The promise of the mobile wallet is you’ll be able to manage your entire financial life from a single device.”
One of the major players in the mobile payment game has been Google, right from the start. In May, it unveiled its test pilot for Google Wallet. Today, its technology, financial, and retail partnerships for the mobile wallet program include Bloomingdales, Citi, First Data, Macy’s, MasterCard, RadioShack, Sprint, Subway, Toys R Us, VeriFone, and Walgreens.
Similarly, a major competitor called the ISIS mobile commerce network – which is a collaboration among Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, and AT&T, which formed in November 2010 – has partnered with American Express, Discover and MasterCard.
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American Express unveiled its digital payments platform called Serve, earlier this year, which permits payments to be made person-to-person using a mobile device, either over the internet or at an AmEx card-accepting merchant’s physical location.
This makes Serve competition for other players such as PayPal, which has also announced its partnerships with Verizon Wireless and Sprint.
Another joint venture has been in place since May 2011, called ClearXchange, among Chase, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America. This allows individuals to use their mobile phone number or email address to make payments person-to-person.
According to the director of strategic mobile initiatives, Omar Green, from Intuit, the next year and a half will show a mad dash for lead positions in this race, as there is an opportunity for a sizeable amount of money if it is achieved.