Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Battle of the Electronic Wallets

Mobile-phone carriers are seeking a beachhead in phone-based payments. Only problem? Google got there first.

Tech experts, such as Google and Isis, are now battling to offer the best mobile or electronic wallet with the hope of capturing mobile phone advertising dollars, which could be substantial given that $200 billion spent on retail advertising every year.

Much like the very early days of e-commerce in the mid 90’s, today represents the very early days of the electronic wallet; a smart phone loaded with special chips that can transmit credit-card information and receive store offers . The armada of partners expected to participate and benefit from the electronic wallet include: all the major credit card brands and three banks with 100 million customers.

Google, with its Google Wallet already being accepted by 150,000 merchants, is forcing carriers to face the risk that Google is going to take over the lucrative slices of mobile business. The race is on as the companies scram to get merchants to install the $100 software into the new checkout terminals, so that their wallets are accepted and they can manage sending advertisements and loyalty points back to consumers.

Do banks need to be concerned with security glitches allowing phone thieves to go on electronic spending sprees? See the full article at http://www.technologyreview.com/business/39825/.

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