Mobile Operators Standing Too Close On Near Field Communications
from the just-a-suggestion dept
The idea that mobile handsets might one day be used for payments and other near field communications has long been promised, but (at least in the US) has seen little action. One hindering factor is that paying for items at a store with a mobile phone isn’t much easier than paying with a credit card, particularly if the credit card is of the contact-less variety. The real value, then, may not be in payments, but in other applications of the technology, such as smart signs and kiosks that deliver information to mobile phones. But mobile operators aren’t interested in those applications because there’s no direct financial benefit. Instead, they envision taking a slice of every payment made over their phones. To do this, they’ll try to lock down the technology, even if it stymies the non-financial applications that could really help the technology take off. The operators need to realize that opening up, even without direct financial benefit, increases the overall value of the technology. From that, let others build the apps that drive usage (and money) to the operators, rather than assuming the operators always know what’s best.