As sales via smartphone are anticipated to increase by 50 percent within 2011, mobile payment services are in a desperate race to take their own piece of the market, and the increasing competitive environment has encouraged the formation of partnerships among the most powerful names in the financial world.
This mad dash is the result of the demand of consumers for smartphones enabled with near field communication (NFC) technology that will allow them to make their regular everyday purchases with the swipe of a mobile phone instead of a credit card at a point of sale.
In the United States, sales via mobile payment are anticipated to rise by a compounded annualized growth rate of 68 percent over the upcoming half decade. This easily explains why the leaders of the technology and financial industries – such as Google and American Express – are making their grab early to get in on the action.
American Express has been a part of the movement since it signed an important deal with Verizon Wireless that would allow Verizon device customers to use their products to make purchases using a streamlined process.
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American Express has also released Serve, its own mobile payment software which comers pre-installed on all Verizon mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.
In a similar move to take their place in the spotlight, Google has launched Google Wallet for Android Phones. This mobile payment platform supports NFC technology, which converts an enabled smartphone into a digital mobile wallet. This wallet can contain the user’s credit card information so that the device needs to be swiped or tapped against a reader in a store and it can be used to pay for a purchase without the cards themselves. Google Wallet supports payments from Citi, First Data, and Mastercard.
Equally, PayPal, the ruler of the online payment world for more than ten years, is working to allow mobile device users to exchange funds with one another using their smartphones and the appropriate app.