Wireless Payments Move Ahead…In Too Many Different Directions

A WirelessWeek.com report today brings us up to date on the various mobile phone (cashless) payment solutions that are emerging in the US, and builds on Mike’s post below. Looking at the deveopments of each solution separately, it looks like there is marked progress with Motorola, AT&TWS, Samsung, Philips, Mastercard and such progressing towards Near Field Communications and other RFID-type solutions, where a user would simply wave the phone over a payment reader and then approve the payment amount. However we see some cause for alarm amidst all the good news. Each one of these solutions involves a proprietary, non-standard method, as well as specialized Point Of Sale terminal equipment, and different business models. Add to these the FeliCa solution in Japan, Moneta in Korea, DeXit coming out of Canada — all hoping to be the de facto winner in the game. What you get is a mess of incompatible solutions, which may be as bad as no solution at all. We can’t claim to know how to solve the ‘Tower Of Babel’ payment issue, but our hope is that a powerful force in the mobile payment sector will promote a solution, and offer it royalty-free to encourage adoption. Dream on.

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