Friday, January 11, 2008

2008 & The Rise of the Mobile Wallet

It's a popular time to make predictions for mobile trends in 2008 and there are some pretty good ones out there. I am going against the trend by not creating yet another list, but have to express my surprise at the lack of mention of the 'mobile wallet' in most bloggers' predictions.

FierceWireless published a summary yesterday that showed that the value of contactless m-payments in the US is expected to reach $820m by 2013 (according to ABI Research).

I believe that 2008 will see a leap forward in the development of the ‘mobile wallet’ and the launch of new handsets capable of performing the same transactions of a traditional credit card by using contactless NFC technology.This is backed up by ABI Research's latest forecast, where they predict a 10-fold increase in shipments of NFC handsets in 2008.

With operators, regulators, manufacturers and financial institutions scheduled to get together in Cairo in May at a GSMA Summit to thrash out a global framework for m-payments, a whole range of new services could become widely available in key markets by 2009.

Operators have too much at stake to ignore this opportunity to impose their own standards for m-payments and thus regain a modicum of control over their customer base in the face of increasingly open development platforms.

The question, however, is this: will a disruptive newcomer step in to offer an alternative should operators and other stakeholders fail to agree in May on a global deployment model?

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