Mobile payments have been getting some serious attention from Google, Apple, and many wireless carriers. These big players are pushing to be the big dog with the new mobile technology. There are pros and cons to each option at the moment and we are going to talk about each.
Isis is the child of a joint venture with AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile. It is set to launch towards the end of the summer and many are excited for it. There seems to be a bit of a delay in its release, but whether that is due to the 3 partners not agreeing or if they simply want to make sure they get it right is uncertain. With the way the new mobile technology is going there is a lot of concern about security. It is not really a bad thing that they are taking the time to do it right when the cost of a mistake is very high.
Isis was heralded 2 years ago as ground breaking technology with its plan to enable tap-and-go payments. This is an issue now because they are not the first to the NFC mobile payment wallet. Google beat them to it. Not only that, NFC is now receiving some skepticism as the adoption of NFC capable phones and hubs into society will take a few more years.
In this trifecta, Apple is the unknown. They are supposedly taking their time on their mobile payment technology. They are working to create the expected user experience. With the possibility of a NFC enabled phone coming from Apple this fall, it brings to question whether or not we will see their payment app then as well. If they release their new mobile technology into the market around the fall time and it delivers well, it could be the big game changer.
They are making the right move, which is to create an experience rather than a simple feature. Smartphones are extremely personal devices and considering their massive amount of iTunes accounts, it could be huge.
The search giant Google recently updated their Google Wallet to add more functionality. The hope was that adding store coupons, concert tickets, gift cards, and airline/transit tickets would ultimately increase its appeal to the populace. This was in answer to the reception it received at release which was not what Google was hoping for.
Google Wallet is capable of storing your credit cards on your phone and then making payments over a NFC connection. While these new additions are similar to what AppleÔÇÖs mobile technology is able to do, at this point Google Wallet is the only one that stores credit cards.
It is too early to tell who will win in the end; however the biggest success in this area was Starbucks. Using mobile payment to enhance their customerÔÇÖs experience, they tied in their loyalty program as well as educated their staff on the app so that they are aware of its functions. They enable payments to be made in their store and are riding on loyalty commerce for their success.
What I Think
At this point it is anyoneÔÇÖs game. It is not a matter of who comes out with it first or even whose does what. The real winner is going to be whoever offers a mobile technology that fills the need and does it well. It will be whoever offers the user experience that plays up to current needs and desires. The mobile technology game changes constantly and what consumers are looking to use is never the same. Whether it is the Google Wallet, AppleÔÇÖs Mobile Payment App, or Isis, it really is up in the air.
With these 3 big applications on the market or soon to hit, there is a lot of speculation on whose will be the best and who will ultimately win. At the moment all three applications have pros and cons and only one is actually on the market. With the hype on NFC dying down it brings to question whether it is the right choice to fill this need anyway. In the end we will just have to see who can take the crazy mobile technology competition and run with it. This is an exciting time and it is anyoneÔÇÖs game.