News & Resources

Wireless carriers, payment companies streamlining mobile payments

Mar 14, 2014 Dave King

One of the biggest reasons retailers have been reluctant to implement mobile payment portals into their operations is that the market for these tools is extremely fragmented. While a number of exciting mobile transaction startups have come about in the last several years, very few have managed to gain any real traction. This is because both the payment and wireless landscapes are so diverse, so it's difficult for every platform to be compatible with every smartphone or debit card.

As a result, many of the first mobile payment systems that came about were only tailored to a small number of consumers. As such, many retailers actually lost money implementing these processes.

Despite these growing pains, payment industry experts still contend that mobile and online transactions are the wave of the future when it comes the making purchases. Recent developments will only spur on that belief that smartphone and tablet transactions will ramp up in the coming years.

Single platform solution for the future
According to Bobsguide, Isis - a joint mobile payment venture from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless - recently indicated that the tools are in place for mobile payments to take over, and for the organization's system to see widespread adoption.

This groundbreaking collaborative effort is the sort of news the mobile payment sector needs. Instead of continuing down the path of market fragmentation, wireless and payment leaders need to start working with each other to find a single solution.

Although it may be a challenge to work so closely with competitors, a unified payment portal that is accessible across all devices and payment accounts will be more attractive to both consumers and business owners. As a result, a universal mobile platform will likely see higher adoption rates, which could generate more revenue for wireless and payment companies.

In a report released last year, research firm Forrester indicated that the market for mobile transactions in the United States will grow at a significant rate in the coming years. The source noted that the sector will be valued at $90 billion as early as 2017, a major increase from the $12.8 billion valuation placed on the domestic mobile payment scene in 2012.

If these optimistic predictions are to be realized, payments companies need to work with each other and wireless providers to make the mobile transaction environment more convenient for consumers. If the Isis development is evidence of future trends, mobile payments should grow even more in the near future.