Irakli asks: Mobile Payments: Why exactly? and lists a lot of reasons why mobile payments don’t exactly come naturally when compared with other stuff in your wallet.
Let me first name some things that are possible with mobile payments that no other payment scheme offers:
- Probably the biggest thing: communication combined with payment. That will allow you to update your customer with the latest details about his or her purchase – shipping notification, link to tracking, whatever.
- Mobile content. What you consume on your mobile needs to be paid for on your mobile.
- P2P payment. Paybox was soooo good at this it actually broke their neck (no fees for P2P payments).
Now, regarding your GeldKarte arguments: I was the product manager for germany’s first product that allowed to pay with the GeldKarte on the internet. Let me tell you one thing: it’s not the complexity of the system, it’s the lack of ZKAs ability to deal with technology. As long as they require class 3 smart card readers and all that other crap (which is by no means more secure than the cheaper ones…), this is NEVER going to take off. Also, the prepaid system and the limitation to 200 Euros makes it useless for a lot of stuff. Loading via Internet (WITHOUT requiring expensive hardware) is also crucial.
All in all, the GeldKarte’s success depends on the banks’ support for it. Currently they’re not to keen to push it – you’ll find that most germans have no idea what it is, even if they are carrying one in their wallet.
I’m not sying that mobile payment is the alternative to card based payments – but both have different usage scenarios, advantages and disadvantages, and are probably not comparable.
Right now, both are driven by the respective business owners (banks and telcos) – but where exactly is the customer demand?