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Sunday, May 22, 2011

It’s not a mobile wallet. It’s just a phone.

Mark Bridge writes:

Don’t get me wrong. I’m excited about the idea of mobile payments (despite the occasional appearance to the contrary). But I think the Quick Tap launch and all this talk of a ‘mobile wallet’ is a little overhyped. And here are the three main reasons why:

1. Contactless payments have been in the UK for almost four years. This is just another type of contactless card.

2. Mobile payments have - in various forms - been with us for well over a decade. This is just another mobile payment mechanism.

3. There’s no app on your smartphone that’ll hold a condom, a couple of first-class stamps and a book of matches.

All this suggests the mobile wallet isn’t going to replace the wallet-wallet for a while.

Until buses all take mobile payments, gym lockers all take mobile payments and parking meters all take mobile payments, you'll still need cash.

Until every retailer has an NFC card reader - payWave, PayPass and the like - you'll still need conventional credit and debit cards.

And until contactless payment technology is perfect... and your phone becomes invulnerable to physical damage... you'll want some kind of back-up.

However, it’s not all bad. Leaving aside the vast number of Quick Tap Toccos that’ll be sold to curious people within the mobile industry, mobile payments are likely to become another string to your smartphone’s bow.

In the same way that my phone offers a camera if I haven’t got a ‘proper’ camera with me and a video player if I don’t need a big screen, it’ll provide a useful backup if I forget my real wallet. One day it may even replace cash payments. But the end of cash?  Not for a long while.

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Author: The Fonecast
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1 comments on article "It's not a mobile wallet. It's just a phone."

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James Rosewell

5/23/2011 3:46 PM

Surely anyone carrying a Quick Tap phone will not be considered attractive enough by the opposite sex to need condoms? That just leaves the matches and the stamps.

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