Lots of movements in the mobile payment field in the last few months – just this past week PayPal demo’d their plan to push PayPal into the physical world, and we saw from Google/MasterCard’s Google Wallet in action again.
I thought it’s time to pull together some of these awesome concept videos that are coming out. Here’s a list of my favorite ones.
There are a few things that I think will really take off in the next year or so -
1) Some sort of alternative payment provider – PayPal has had it’s fun, everyone’s trying to get in on their turf
2) NFC capabilities – not just for payment, but for loyalty programs
3) Local + Group buying.
It appears that after the Amex/4sq deal from earlier this year, Visa is getting into the game too. With the latest GAP partnership, “Gap Mobile 4 u“, Visa will be sending out location-based offers based on where the card holder is spending. Your spending behavior will then trigger messages sent by Visa, which will contain coupons/offers which you can then show the cashier at check-out.
This is a very smart move from Visa from a few angle:
1) This will have much bigger international implication than perhaps in the U.S. People around the world are still mostly on SMS and not smartphone + apps.
2) SMS is just simple to use – no need to download, etc.
3) This will allow Visa to scale really quickly – without having to create special relationships with different partners. It is possible for Visa to just open up the program and allow merchants to implement this easily.
This only took FOREVER to happen. After Sprint and Clearwire “parted ways” a while back, it would appear the two sides have finally came back together as one big happy family. Sprint will be investing $1B in Clearwire, giving Clearwire the funding it needs and Sprint the bandwidth it needs. Under the agreement, Sprint and Clearwire will also be allow to sell each other’s 3G + 4G networks to third parties. Crazy right? This means that they can both sell to whoever they want – I’m sure they will plan it strategically so that one’s targeting a market the other’s not – or for large markets, have both go in at the same time to penetrate the market with WiMAX.
This is interesting also what with the evolution / adoption of LTE in the United States. What does this mean for Clearwire / WiMAX / Sprint? I know Clearwire has also been evaluating integrating LTE into its WiMAX networks.. but how will that work? Is it just a matter of back-end integration with no disruptions to consumers? Or will consumers need to switch out say, a new device, for the adoption?