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A week is a long time in mobile payments

Alex Kwiatkowski | May 18, 2010
And they say a week is a long time in politics. On current evidence, the same is true where mobile payments are concerned.

There are a couple of points that merit further mention. First, Ovum believes retail banks must have a mobile offering. Institutions that are behind in the deployment of mobile services must act now or risk placing themselves at a competitive disadvantage. Second, Get Paid by Obopay allows anyone (businesses or individuals) to receive debit-card or ACH payments into their bank account via a mobile device, as well as via a website or email. This is attractive to small enterprises and sole traders, and in particular mobile trades people such as plumbing or electrical contractors who often rely on settlement via cash or check.

Has Obopay revolutionized mobile payments overnight? No. Obopay CEO Carol Realini has previously spoken of the complexity of the mobile-payments industry and the need for patience. This pragmatism, which Ovum agrees with, will serve Obopay well in the next phase of development.

One other announcement that caught our attention was Google Ventures investment in Texan start-up Corduro. With the number of devices running Googles Android mobile operating system on the rise, the decision to take a stake in a mobile-payments platform provider signals that Google wants to leverage its assets. Echoing the sentiments of Obopays Realini, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said venture investing is a long-term game measured in years rather than quarters.

In the meantime lets see what the next seven days bring.

The writer is an Ovum analyst.

 

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