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Mobile payments and wallets

griff's picture
Submitted by griff on Tue, 2012-05-01 12:58

Thanks to mearsj, kasia, tonyfish, and miguel.gonzales-sancho for their mobile-payment comments to our opening posting – lets drill down into mobile payments in this discussion. For background I've put together a primer on mobile payments and European activity here: http://oakhallventures.com/mobile-money/

Are Google and PayPal right to complain to the EU that telecom operator mobile wallet JVs are anti-competitive?

Is NFC (near field communication radio) the right mobile wallet enabling technology?

What is the best way to transact with a mobile? Wave and pay, barcode (either displayed on screen or read by phone camera), PIN entry on the phone for each transaction?

Should there be one app on the phone containing many debit/credit card payment options, or many apps, one for each retailer?

How do mobile payments work for citizens who do not want to pay with a debit or credit card?

How do we ensure interoperability across Europe, and ideally globally (like the credit card networks)?

Thoughts, comments, opinions, companies I have left out?

Group audience: 
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Comments

Submitted by Henryk on Thu, 2012-05-03 22:14

Hi All,
I'm new in this group but very experienced in m-payments area. Some thoughts/comments from my side.

Q: Is NFC (near field communication radio) the right mobile wallet enabling technology?
C: The problem is that everybody are talking only about NFC and technology. Technology is not main problem in m-payments. But NFC is only technology to exchange data between two devices. In my opinion NFC was appropriated by VISA and MasterCard - but they don't have monopoly for this technology. In my opinion NFC need 5-10 years for commercialization. Now we should look for other, widely available technology/solutions. If m-paymant wants to be a service for mass-market, NFC can't be the main technology but only an option for rich users (of NFC smartphones). But first we should change our mentality and stop to think about m-payments in context of payment cards. We should start to think differently.

Q:What is the best way to transact with a mobile? Wave and pay, barcode (either displayed on screen or read by phone camera), PIN entry on the phone for each transaction?
C: What is the main service in mobile network? What every user is doing everyday? Voice calls. This is the simplest and most popular service in mobile networks. Can m-payment be as simple as phone call? In my opinion - yes it can. And you can use regular phone call from any phone or 2D barcode or NFC to simplify the call. But you don't need to have expensive smartphone with NFC or 2D barcode reader to pay. This is your choice. I spent last 12 years of my life to simplify m-payments. It really can be easy and convinience.

Q:Should there be one app on the phone containing many debit/credit card payment options, or many apps, one for each retailer?
C: Once again a technology :( Please stop think like this. This is not a main problem. I think there can be a lot of applications or not - depends on payment providers, payment instruments issuers etc. At the end customers show what they prefere. The real problem is how we can help independent service providers to provide services competitive to VISA and MasterCard, how we can build competitive market.

Q: How do mobile payments work for citizens who do not want to pay with a debit or credit card?
C: It's better. This is a real problem. We should enable access to bank accounts for independent payment providers. We can't base on payment cards and existing business models. We should define new transaction interfaces and new business models - well-fitting to new economy.

Q: How do we ensure interoperability across Europe, and ideally globally (like the credit card networks)?
C: We should provide the conditions necessary to establishing and functioning of an independent competition to payment cards. We should create and impose new standards for banks to enable payment services providers access to users' accounts, and for mobile operators to enable access to necessary network infrastructure

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Kasia's picture
Submitted by Kasia on Mon, 2012-05-07 16:36

Interesting. Many payment service providers argue for access to user's bank account by payment services providers. At the same time we have to secure this sensitive data so that it is accessed only for the purpose of provision of service. And what precisely do you mean by access to "necessary network infrastructure"?

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Submitted by Henryk on Fri, 2012-05-11 00:57

GSM network have a lot of features which can help to better secure and simplify m-payments without additional expensive or inconvenient technology. But not all are commercially available. It is problem to talk with MNO about hidden features. Also base mobile services (e.g. like SMS or USSD) are still not regulated and is problem to use them commercially across all networks.

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Submitted by Henryk on Wed, 2012-05-23 00:42

You are wrong. Thanks to mechanisms and security of mobile network you can better secure the transaction. Transaction security this is not only data or transmission protection.

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griff's picture
Submitted by griff on Mon, 2012-05-07 19:41

Henryck many thanks. Can you (or anyone else!) expand on the non-NFC options (I gave some also in the link in the original discussion starter)?

Regarding mass payments - smartphones are already becoming cheaper and in a few years will be fully mass market. If the demand is there, it can only cost a few dollars to add NFC (or whatever!) to a low-end phone and use the SIM card as the secure element? Or do you have other ideas? But what is exciting the mobile payments industry is all the additional features (vouchers, geolocation etc) that a smartphone allows, but might be limited by a small screen low end phone. Thoughts?

Regarding linking m-payments direct to bank accounts - the ewallets (such as PayPal and in particular Skrill (aka Moneybookers) are connecting already to many "local" bank transfer systems (such as P24 in Poland). So it seems technically feasible....and both of these companies are going mobile.

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Submitted by Henryk on Fri, 2012-05-11 01:45

Hmmm.... How long it takes? I have heard about it from 2008. Every year in Barcelona during GSM World Congress. From 2008 each year is the year of NFC :(
And how is it really?
I can buy regular GSM phone for 15EUR. NFC smartphones (only a few models on the market) cost about 500EUR. This is not cheap.
There are over 100% penetration of mobile phone users in UE. In statistic every EU citizen has mobile phone - now without NFC. How do you think - how long it will take to exchange current handsets to NFC ready? I don't agree that people will buy new handsets because they have NFC. iPhone hasn't NFC and is the most popular smartphone on the market. The second one Samsung Galaxy S II has NFC but as option - in Poland not available.
I think it takes probably next -7-12 years to commercialize NFC technology. But I'm affraid that it will be like Bluetooth story- everybody have it in phone but uses wired headphones. The main function of mobile phone was, is and will be voice call. People know how to do it. If we can offer m-payment as simple as phone call we will win and we don't need to wait 7 years for NFC. We can build the market and slowly change to a newer technology. One of the most important aspect of commercialize m-payments is availability. We can't base on unavailable technology, but it can be used as option to simplify m-payments. It nice to have but not must to have.

Everything you are writing about can be available now and you don't need NFC!

as example of non-NFC m-payments I can give you an example of my previous project we realized in Poland in 2007: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUoFzXaHtkk. What do you think? Is it easy?

And one more - in my opinion NFC m-payment will exist but will not dominate the market. Why? Because is competitive to cheaper contactless cards and can't be remote. You can't use NFC for e/m-commerce payments - this is only contactless, like card. NFC m-payments can of course offer a lot of additional features, compare to contactless cards, but my Xperia S NFC phone with active NFC, Bluetooth, 3G and WiFi works only 3 hours :(

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Engberg's picture
Submitted by Engberg on Fri, 2012-05-04 07:52

Need Digital Cash

What we first and foremost need in payments in the introduction of Empowering payment schemes that does NOT autoamtically create 3rd party intervention into commercial relationships.

We need:
a) The use of true digital cash as in blinded encryption or other one-time-only mechanisms

b) Open payment standards that parameriterize payments instead of dictating bad security structures for lockin (e.g. EMV, mobile)

c) Similar Identity standards to deal with resolution of security according to context. There is a huge diffence in legitimate stakeholder security requirements in a lowvalue payment for a news article and a large cross-border payment. The first can be 100% anonymous, the later have a long list of necesary validations.

d) Regulation that does not prevent security (e.g. require surveillance) and begin to deal with the kartel/monopolly abuse of security

e) A back to basic in economics or Peer-to-peer understanding of society processes. Web 2.0 without security has turned into destablishing markets due to increasing distortions from network effects based on systemic abuse of personal data and technical lock-in.

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Submitted by Henryk on Fri, 2012-05-11 01:52

I'm not sure if we need digital cash (very expensive from security point of view) or only easy, standardized remotely access to our real cash (like in cloud).

I prefere the second option. In my opinion one account with many access interfaces is much more practical than digital cash separately on each mobile device.

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Engberg's picture
Submitted by Engberg on Fri, 2012-05-11 18:45

Digital Cash is not expensive - thats is nonsense. It is more complex, yes. But nothing that cannot be handled by smartt phones - problem is that security in smart phones are low and insufficient for many payment or signature requirements. No empowerment, insifucicient revocation/recoverability and no tamperresistance.

The important party is all the other security around transactions which is MUCH more complex than the naive and dysfunctional surveillance structures operated today.

The "second option" is not an option, but a list of requisites. Bad technology design like NFC, SIM or EMV should NOT dictate solutions - payment statnadards should be open and parameterised to be resolved by two-way seciurity policies.

Interfaces can be identical - but you wouldnt make interfaces as bad as today as they are a source of fraud.

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Submitted by Henryk on Wed, 2012-05-23 00:53

The question is how we define "digital cash". For me it is substitute for regular cash (digitally signed). This need completely new ecosystem. In my opinion remote acces to regular cash is enough and is much cheaper.

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Engberg's picture
Submitted by Engberg on Fri, 2012-05-04 07:56

None of the payment schemes suggested can support free market structures and value creation as they all enforce some sort of power accumulation in infrastructure.

The EMV-card payment structure is not interoperable, but exclusive and a kartel structure designed to PREVENT competition and innovation in favor of a group of players.

Repeating the scheme with yet another mobile wallet layer only worsen the situation instead of enabling commerce. It is a destructure winner-takes-all game that will damage markets.

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griff's picture
Submitted by griff on Mon, 2012-05-07 19:44

But how do merchants cope with a potential system of many payment methods that customers demand support for? The beauty of Visa/MC etc is that they all use the same POS terminal. We need the same in m-payments.

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Submitted by Henryk on Fri, 2012-05-11 02:06

To separate payment process from the acceptance process. In other words, how the seller receives an acknowledgment doesn't depend on how the customer pays. It is difficult, but possible. Thanks this you can build an acceptance network independent of payment methods.

There are a lot of countries where Visa/MC/Diners/Amex have separate networks and merchant has e.g. 4 terminals. It's crazy but true. And the begining of contactless cards also Visa and MC had incompatible POS terminals.

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Engberg's picture
Submitted by Engberg on Fri, 2012-05-11 19:09

"To separate payment process from the acceptance process."

Exactly

But there are additional requirements. E.g. the merchant also needs to ensure that he does not get an intermediary in the loop staling his customer database and profiling him and customers from infrastructure transactions leaking data.

Today merchants and consumers are dis-empowered both by bad telecommunication and payment standards.

As Einstein said - "You cannot solve problems with the thinking that created them."

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Engberg's picture
Submitted by Engberg on Fri, 2012-05-11 18:50

That is not the "beauty" of EMV, but the lock-in problem.
merchants wont have to deal with "many payment" methods if interfaces were open, model-driven and parameterized - that would be handled by service providers.

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Engberg's picture
Submitted by Engberg on Fri, 2012-05-04 09:13

I suggest to raise the level of abstaction at least one layer of logics.

a) A Payment is merely an accepted transfer for a token value, ie. a handover which can be perfectly isolated, one-time-only and contained wihtout any secondary risk creation.

This can be done with e.g. BitCoin (if it wasn't for the fact that BitCoin implements its own currency which has nothing to do with the payment in itself) or any of the many other one-time-only computational secure technologies.

b) A number of schemes can implement more or less secure payments. The worst of these begin to reuse keys and identifiers opening for fraud and abuse, e.g. EMV payments cards, Wallets, Credit Ratings, NFC Proximity etc.

c) Security is primarily about the identity scheme which is perhaps 80-90% of security and identity SHOULD NOT be deterimned by the payment as this is abused as a source of market lock-in and market distortion.

It is, however, necesary to both improve identity (not identification) security to validate e.g. taxation, anti-theft, etc. and payment security (trnasction isolation) simultanously. Today we try to resolve two contradictory requirements with the same mechanism - it can never succeed.

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franck boissière's picture
Submitted by franck boissière on Fri, 2012-05-04 12:51

Interesting discussion!

Today innovative payments are being discussed at the conference on the green paper on car internet and mobile payments http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/payments/cim/index_en.htm

You can follow it live at http://scic.ec.europa.eu/str/index.php?sessionno=4db0f8b0fc895da263fd77f...

EC Vice President Joaquim Almunia Keynote touches about innovative payments http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=SPEECH/12/325&fo...

Selected extracts I found relevant.
.[...]
Forms of payments alternative to cash and other traditional means are changing the lives of millions of people in advanced and developing countries alike. In Europe, card payments have enjoyed an enormous success over the past twenty years. Indeed, this is good news. Open, secure and innovative payments markets are crucial for the digital economy, which is in turn one of the most promising sectors for Europe’s growth. [...]

Clearly, there is a lot of work to do to bring Europe’s payments markets in line with the times and with the expectations of businesses and consumers. Just compare this picture with the internet and mobile industries. In those sectors, inter-operability is ensured by harmonised European and global standards and there is more competition; [...]

I am drawing this parallel also because the new frontier of the payment industry is digital. We already have the technology to do payments with our fixed and mobile devices; all we have to do is using it to innovate. To start with, the industry must explore new business models. We must prevent that some of the bad habits developed in the cards sector over the years spread to the new forms of payment. At present, about one mobile device in three can access the internet; and I believe that the combination of both technologies can provide new and better systems for mobile payments.[...]

Part of the discussion is about what can the EC do to promote innovative payments.

Comments?

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Engberg's picture
Submitted by Engberg on Fri, 2012-05-11 22:18

Clear not what they are doing -
1) First they hardcode the structures so gatekeepers will always be in control in digital payments. No empowerment=no real competition.
2) Then they realise competions fails, but instead of enabling competition, they regualtion and introduce price control.
Failure upon failure.

There is not open standards, no empowerment of consumers, no data security, but first and foremost no consideration of transferring the crucuaial elements of phsycial cash to the digital world - EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE THE TECHNOLOGIES.

SEPA is a programmed failure that will not bring the intended. It will not psur innovation and competion in payments, but merely further the alrad damaging concentration of control in infrastruction at the expense of everybody.

You can have a certain element of choice of who should be your new lord, but a lrod you will have when regulation dictat dis-empowerment.

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mearsj's picture
Submitted by mearsj on Thu, 2012-05-10 22:17

Definitions and adoption barriers

National Retail Federation (NRF) Mobile Blueprint is one of the better documents I seen so far on the subject. As its says, "to help
retailers understand the current mobile retailing landscape, recognize the types of
applications on the horizon, and determine how best to embrace this new technology"

Mobile Payments: What’s in It for Consumers?
By Fumiko Hayashi is along the same lines, but gives more information about the path to adoption across several developed countries.

From high level desktop research* into one adoption barrier, terminals, came up with how many people per NFC or Contactless terminal - UK vs Japan. Answer, 849 vs 130.

Increasing the number of terminals in the UK by 400k to get the ratio down to 130, would cost the merchant community $80m.

*Regulatory or industry sources

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Engberg's picture
Submitted by Engberg on Fri, 2012-05-11 18:37

NFC is not a payment technology, but a low-security communication protocol. The very idea of using proximity as authoisation is invititing to fraud.

Beside NFC is a downgrade of the open RFID-protocols /e.g. ISO14443B and ISO 15693) to ensure kartel gatekeepers built-into the payment structures so we get yet another layer of gatekeepers and no security.

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Submitted by Henryk on Wed, 2012-05-23 01:07

And still I don't know how to use NFC for e-commerce or m-commerce :) This is only for retail. It does not stimulate the e-economy. It's just another substitute of a payment card (like contactless sticker).

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Engberg's picture
Submitted by Engberg on Fri, 2012-05-11 18:47

The credit card network is not "interoperable" - it is exclusive, anti-competitiive and abused to favour certain commercial kartel interests based on gatekeeper control with payments.

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Engberg's picture
Submitted by Engberg on Fri, 2012-05-11 19:06

There is a huge mistake onging here.
M-payments are no different from any other payment. They are all digital internet payments routed through different channels

There is a range of problems related to a too narrow veiw on payments.

a) Only "check"-style payments are considered even through they are a main source of fraud, i.e. payments are assumed to be "authorization to draw money on an account.". THis inherently create for a long range of problems related to identity theft, data problems, fraud from man-in-the-middle, reuse of keys etc. etc.

b) The assumption that the communication channel should have anything to do with payments is dangerous as it invites fraud, it undermine data security and it create market lock-in.

c) These structure deliberately are excluding other payment structures in order to prevent innovation and competition. Focus is on custromer technology lock-in and profiling from infrastructure undermining markets.

d) The assumption of one-size-fits-nothing is the worst side of technology. Instead of using technology to open and create options, it is (ab)used to frevent change and create legacy (deliberately or not).

The analysis on payments are simply insufficient and not constructively considering the range of requirements, options and principles.

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Engberg's picture
Submitted by Engberg on Sat, 2012-05-12 01:20

Google fund their operation through - what in Europe would be - abuse of related data out of context. Their complaints may be technically right for a legitimate competitor, but their aim is to abuse the intermediary role to get access to even more sensitive data for abuse.

Google is the star example of why lack of security leading to destabilizing network effects distort markets.

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Engberg's picture
Submitted by Engberg on Sat, 2012-05-12 01:26

"Should there be one app on the phone containing many debit/credit card payment options, or many apps, one for each retailer?"

One per citizen appearing as one payment channel per retailer towards the entire infrastructure incl. telecom and banks. Nomatter which payment mechanisms its primary objective should (I dont say must or shall) be to ensure delink (i.e. no trusted part).

"How do mobile payments work for citizens who do not want to pay with a debit or credit card?"

It dont because secure payments are not legal in Europe due to overkill requirements in regulation e.g. Anti-money laundering, e-currency and Data Retention providing a no-security dictate (always identification).

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mearsj's picture
Submitted by mearsj on Sun, 2012-05-13 21:06

Griff,

Is NFC (near field communication radio) the right mobile wallet enabling technology?

Although written in the American market context, Jason Holland's analysis in, "NFC: Not For Commerce?" makes these points on adoption of NFC:

- Intuitive Form of User Interaction
- NFC is NOT just about payments
- Shift to EMV will ignite merchant adoption
- ƒIndustry momentum behind NFC is broad and wide

Examples for not just about payment -
Verifone's NFC Strategy June 2011 shows the range of implementations, which may make it a stronger technology proposition.

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griff's picture
Submitted by griff on Mon, 2012-05-14 16:36

Thanks - there are definitely big for and against camps for NFC. I don't know the answer yet, but companies like Square in the US are coming up with some innovative no swipe no NFC payment approaches that look like they will delight customers. See squareup.com/pay-with-square

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Submitted by Henryk on Wed, 2012-05-23 01:20

In my opinion at this time NFC is too expensive and unavailable technology to be used as main technology for mobile payments. We should look on this as a feature/option, but not a core technology. And m-payments should be separate from payment cards. In other situation we will change only technology but not the market.

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EdChandler's picture
Submitted by EdChandler on Fri, 2012-05-18 16:29

Hi all,

Thinking about the questions and how these relate to blind and partially sighted people as a digital wallet could be a lot more accessible than the physical wallets which we have now *if they are implemented in an accessible way!

So to answer your questions:

Are Google and PayPal right to complain to the EU that telecom operator mobile wallet JVs are anti-competitive?

Not sure but if the shoe was on the other foot the telcom companies would probably be complaining about Google and PayPal. The problem as I see it is the various stakeholders have not sorted out "who owns the customer (MNO/bank/website)" and "how do I get paid for this." All have their own customers and want to hold onto their bit of the pie.

Is NFC (near field communication radio) the right mobile wallet enabling technology?

It doesn't necessarily have to be the right or wrong way, but does need to be a way of paying. Currently some blind and partially sighted people can use Chip and PIN but others use the Chip and signature as they are not comfortable interacting with the PED. The NFC solution would mean minimal interaction with the payment terminal and will remove the need to put a card in “the correct way round” which is an issue.

The main advantage for blind and partially sighted people of the mobile wallet is that anything in electronic format is potentially more accessible than print if that electronic format can be made accessible. There are accessible mobile phones on the market and other manufacturers are improving the accessibility of their interfaces so in all likelihood a mobile wallet will become accessible. This will mean that for the first time, blind and partially sighted people will have access to the same information without resorting to coping strategies in order to remember the important card numbers.

Another advantage of NFC via phone functionality is that it to could have the ability do a "double tap to pay" in that the first tap is to obtain the amount and the second is to actually pay. This will mean that blind and partially sighted people, who currently have to rely on the honestly of staff to take the correct amount, can confirm the amount being taken before the transaction has been completed.

Finally the digital wallet provides access to a record of the recent payments so again, providing information to a user which was previously inaccessible.

What is the best way to transact with a mobile? Wave and pay, barcode (either displayed on screen or read by phone camera), PIN entry on the phone for each transaction?

The wave and pay would be of benefit to many blind and partially sighted people over some of the other forms such as barcode as using barcodes usually requires sight in order to marry up the barcode correctly to the reader. PIN entry on the phone could be interesting given that an accessible phone would make this process accessible.

Should there be one app on the phone containing many debit/credit card payment options, or many apps, one for each retailer?

An app for each retailer could be confusing and then rely on the customer downloading the app, then adding the card in order to shop. It would probably be simpler to have one secure digital wallet on the phone which provided details of all cards and provided a mechanism to pay using those cards.

How do mobile payments work for citizens who do not want to pay with a debit or credit card?
The implementation of NFC based phones with payment so far (thinking Orange Quicktap here) have been linked to a credit card but the phone has its own fund, similar to a prepaid card. However could the digital wallet be linked directly to your bank account which the mobile payment system can feed on to make a payment. In this case it may be necessary to create a one time virtual card for each transaction so that a retailer does not have access to your bank details.

How do we ensure interoperability across Europe, and ideally globally (like the credit card networks)?
Bringing all the stakeholders together to discuss it so that implementation works seamlessly.

Thanks for reading and apologies for the long post but the questions were very thought provoking!

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Engberg's picture
Submitted by Engberg on Mon, 2012-05-21 16:35

We need a new payment interoeprable standard that start in the most basic udnerstanding as a payment meaning a cash handover - a one-time-only value token such as Digital Cash. It further extend this into the various account-toa-ccount based payments which have less and less security and more and more gatekeeper lockin controls.

By applying this interfaces standard to all payment and requiring Digital Cash as most-carry legal tender, you ensure that competition CAN be possible.

NFC is a local channel - not a payment mechanism.

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mearsj's picture
Submitted by mearsj on Fri, 2012-05-25 21:20

Some analysis of how people use QR codes:

- The most popular source of a scanned QR code was a printed magazine or newspaper.

- In EU5, More Than Half of QR Codes Are Scanned While at Home

- 20.1 million mobile phone owners in the U.S. used their device to scan a QR code in the three-month average period ending October 2011.

Among these mobile users who used their phone to scan a QR code, 59.4% did so from home, while 44% did so from a retail store and 26.6% did so from a grocery store. 21.4% scanned a QR code while at work, while 11.2% did so outside or on public transportation with nearly 10% scanning a QR code while in a restaurant.

http://www.comscoredatamine.com/?s=qr+code

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InnoGenna's picture
Submitted by InnoGenna on Wed, 2012-06-13 12:30

M-payment: I do not have insight about the complaint of Google and Pay-pal against the mobile wallet of telecoms operators, so I can't say whether the antitrust allegations are grounded.
However, the experience tells us that when telecom operators try to define the "tehcnological environment" for services, the ultimate scope id to create a walled garden. This is particularly true for the mobile sector. Fact is, mobile data and services have been actually driven by device, applications and services, not by offer of conenctivity. Mobile data was available since 2002, however nobody used because the subscirption price was high and the availble services were practically selected by the mobile operators.
This lesson brings us to be suspicious about telcos defining the features of Internet services, M-payment included.
I believe that the European Commission should be vigilant and endorse a real pan-European interoperable platform, like it happened with mobile standards.

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Peterjames229's picture
Submitted by Peterjames229 on Sat, 2012-07-21 20:40

Many banks now also offer the option of electronic statements, either in lieu of or in addition to physical statements, which can be viewed at any time by the cardholder via the issuer's online banking website.The main benefit to each customer is convenience. Compared to debit cards and cheques, a credit card allows small short-term loans to be quickly made to a customer who need not calculate a balance remaining before every transaction, provided the total charges do not exceed the maximum credit line for the card. http://www.ecomsolutionspakistan.com/

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