It’s an exciting time in the payments industry. There are several hundred million people in the U.S. walking around with plastic in their wallets. Developers are now poised to build and launch a wide range of promising new applications to super-charge these cards. Game on!

We’re heading for a world with more smartphones than bank accounts – Quartz
Bank accounts are out, smartphones are in. In 2011, some 2.5 billion people in the world were “unbanked” (pdf), as the lingo goes, according to the World Bank. By 2016, more people will have bank accounts, but in regions like the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, even more will have smartphones, research and consulting firm Analysys Mason predicts in a report today.

We’re heading for a world with more smartphones than bank accounts – Quartz

Bank accounts are out, smartphones are in. In 2011, some 2.5 billion people in the world were “unbanked” (pdf), as the lingo goes, according to the World Bank. By 2016, more people will have bank accounts, but in regions like the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, even more will have smartphones, research and consulting firm Analysys Mason predicts in a report today.

10 Companies Chasing Innovations That Really Matter | Wired.com
M-PESA/Safaricom
In much of the developing world, credit and debit cards have never caught on, since the telecom networks needed to support their use doesn’t exist. In those same places, however, mobile phone use has exploded. In a phenomenon known as “leapfrogging,” the wires needed to power traditional card-based transactions might never get installed, since everyone will just use their phones instead.
In Kenya, mobile operator Safaricom has developed M-PESA, a way to transfer money and make microloans using text messages — no bank account required. Unlike in, say, the U.S., mobile payments have taken off in Kenya thanks to M-PESA, with millions of users. The company is working on rolling out the service to other countries where a lack of financial and technological infrastructure could cease to be a barrier to joining the 21st-century economy.
Photo: Sipa via AP Images

10 Companies Chasing Innovations That Really Matter | Wired.com

M-PESA/Safaricom

In much of the developing world, credit and debit cards have never caught on, since the telecom networks needed to support their use doesn’t exist. In those same places, however, mobile phone use has exploded. In a phenomenon known as “leapfrogging,” the wires needed to power traditional card-based transactions might never get installed, since everyone will just use their phones instead.

In Kenya, mobile operator Safaricom has developed M-PESA, a way to transfer money and make microloans using text messages — no bank account required. Unlike in, say, the U.S., mobile payments have taken off in Kenya thanks to M-PESA, with millions of users. The company is working on rolling out the service to other countries where a lack of financial and technological infrastructure could cease to be a barrier to joining the 21st-century economy.

Photo: Sipa via AP Images

Forget The Register: Stores Use Mobile To Make Sales On The Spot : All Tech Considered : NPR
A Nordstrom salesperson shows a customer an online selection of shoes on an in-store iPad. Like some other retailers, Nordstrom is using mobile devices to make on-the-spot sales and check companywide product inventory instantly.

Forget The Register: Stores Use Mobile To Make Sales On The Spot : All Tech Considered : NPR

A Nordstrom salesperson shows a customer an online selection of shoes on an in-store iPad. Like some other retailers, Nordstrom is using mobile devices to make on-the-spot sales and check companywide product inventory instantly.

Carriers set to chip in $100M in Isis to take on Google | GigaOM

AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are reportedly poised to invest $100 million in their joint mobile payment venture called Isis, a near field communication-based contactless payment system that will do battle in the increasingly competitive mobile payments market. According to Bloomberg, the carriers are still determining exactly how much to invest based on Isis’ ability to obtain support from banks and merchants, but they could throw in a lot more money if the platform can gain momentum.
Isis will have to play catch-up with Google Wallet , the open NFC platform launched by Google, MasterCard and Citibank. That payment system was unveiled in May and is set to open to the public soon. Google Wallet lets people pay for things by waving their NFC-enabled Android phone at point-of-sale terminals that are equipped to handle MasterCard Paypass purchases. However, Google’s offering is limited right now to just the Nexus S from Sprint, and it hasn’t announced new credit card or banking partners beyond MasterCard and Citibank.
Isis, meanwhile, is backed by credit card companies MasterCard, Visa , American Expressand Discover. But the first trials won’t begin until next year in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas. That will put it behind Google Wallet, though with few NFC-enabled devices available so far, it may not be that much of a disadvantage. But will consumers even embrace NFC payments on their handsets when the tech does become available? Questions about thesecurity, reliability and fees of mobile payments still suggest that adoption will be slow, at least initially.

Carriers set to chip in $100M in Isis to take on Google | GigaOM

AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile are reportedly poised to invest $100 million in their joint mobile payment venture called Isis, a near field communication-based contactless payment system that will do battle in the increasingly competitive mobile payments market. According to Bloomberg, the carriers are still determining exactly how much to invest based on Isis’ ability to obtain support from banks and merchants, but they could throw in a lot more money if the platform can gain momentum.

Isis will have to play catch-up with Google Wallet the open NFC platform launched by Google, MasterCard and Citibank. That payment system was unveiled in May and is set to open to the public soon. Google Wallet lets people pay for things by waving their NFC-enabled Android phone at point-of-sale terminals that are equipped to handle MasterCard Paypass purchases. However, Google’s offering is limited right now to just the Nexus S from Sprint, and it hasn’t announced new credit card or banking partners beyond MasterCard and Citibank.

Isis, meanwhile, is backed by credit card companies MasterCard, Visa , American Expressand Discover. But the first trials won’t begin until next year in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas. That will put it behind Google Wallet, though with few NFC-enabled devices available so far, it may not be that much of a disadvantage. But will consumers even embrace NFC payments on their handsets when the tech does become available? Questions about thesecurity, reliability and fees of mobile payments still suggest that adoption will be slow, at least initially.

Obopay tailors mobile payment solutions for the unbanked | MobilePaymentsToday.com
In emerging economies, the debate over consumer adoption of mobile  payments has been rendered moot by a dearth of stable financial  institutions.  Consumers in countries where banks are few or fragile  have out of necessity already turned to the one ubiquitous, secure  system they have: wireless phone networks. In these markets, consumers  are increasingly using their phones as instruments to pay bills, buy  groceries and transfer funds for some time.
And the scale of the unbanked in developing countries is enormous. A  recent report conducted for Telenor Group by Boston Consulting Group  found that 2.5 billion consumers in developing markets, or approximately  72 percent of the adult population in those economies, have no access  to financial services.
Several companies have begun providing financial services to the  unbanked around the world, but to Redwood City, Calif.-based Obopay  Inc., unbanked consumers aren’t just a market segment to be tapped,  they’re the very foundation of its business.

Obopay tailors mobile payment solutions for the unbanked | MobilePaymentsToday.com

In emerging economies, the debate over consumer adoption of mobile payments has been rendered moot by a dearth of stable financial institutions. Consumers in countries where banks are few or fragile have out of necessity already turned to the one ubiquitous, secure system they have: wireless phone networks. In these markets, consumers are increasingly using their phones as instruments to pay bills, buy groceries and transfer funds for some time.

And the scale of the unbanked in developing countries is enormous. A recent report conducted for Telenor Group by Boston Consulting Group found that 2.5 billion consumers in developing markets, or approximately 72 percent of the adult population in those economies, have no access to financial services.

Several companies have begun providing financial services to the unbanked around the world, but to Redwood City, Calif.-based Obopay Inc., unbanked consumers aren’t just a market segment to be tapped, they’re the very foundation of its business.

sneijers:

What Bitcoin (P2P Virtual Currency) Is, and Why It Matters: Can a booming “crypto-currency” really compete with conventional cash?
Bitcoin is underwritten not by a government, but by a clever cryptographic scheme.  For now, little can be bought with bitcoins, and the new currency is still a long way from competing with the dollar. But this explainer lays out what Bitcoin is, why it matters, and what needs to happen for it to succeed [Read more].

sneijers:

What Bitcoin (P2P Virtual Currency) Is, and Why It Matters: Can a booming “crypto-currency” really compete with conventional cash?

Bitcoin is underwritten not by a government, but by a clever cryptographic scheme. For now, little can be bought with bitcoins, and the new currency is still a long way from competing with the dollar. But this explainer lays out what Bitcoin is, why it matters, and what needs to happen for it to succeed [Read more].

(via sneijers)

Why Winning Over Merchants Will be Key To Mobile Payments | GigaOM
For mobile payments to soar, it doesn’t take just the creativity and  resources of carriers, financial institutions, start-ups and Web  players. The gobs of money spent on making mobile payments happen may be  for naught if merchants aren’t on board. And the industry is learning  that. That’s one of the key lessons absorbed by Michael Abbott, the CEO  of Isis, a mobile payment joint venture by Verizon Wireless , AT&T  and T-Mobile.
Abbott, who joined Isis in November after ten years as CMO of GE  Capital, said the carriers all considered their own payment services but  they realized after talking to merchants and businesses that they  didn’t want a bunch of competing options from the operators. So the  carriers banded together to create Isis,  which initially was designed to run on a new near field communication  (NFC) payment network. Then when they took their payment service to the  merchants, they were again told that they don’t want a separate payment  network apart from the big players like MasterCard and Visa. They wanted  a solution that works together. So Isis put aside plans for its own Discover-powered payment network and is now looking to partner with more credit card companies and banks. 

Why Winning Over Merchants Will be Key To Mobile Payments | GigaOM

For mobile payments to soar, it doesn’t take just the creativity and resources of carriers, financial institutions, start-ups and Web players. The gobs of money spent on making mobile payments happen may be for naught if merchants aren’t on board. And the industry is learning that. That’s one of the key lessons absorbed by Michael Abbott, the CEO of Isis, a mobile payment joint venture by Verizon Wireless , AT&T and T-Mobile.

Abbott, who joined Isis in November after ten years as CMO of GE Capital, said the carriers all considered their own payment services but they realized after talking to merchants and businesses that they didn’t want a bunch of competing options from the operators. So the carriers banded together to create Isis, which initially was designed to run on a new near field communication (NFC) payment network. Then when they took their payment service to the merchants, they were again told that they don’t want a separate payment network apart from the big players like MasterCard and Visa. They wanted a solution that works together. So Isis put aside plans for its own Discover-powered payment network and is now looking to partner with more credit card companies and banks. 

Visa Says Mobile Payments Unveiling is Coming Next Week | AllThingsD
Visa is fulfilling its promise of being “everywhere you want to be,”  beginning as soon as next week, when it plans to make an announcement  regarding its mobile payments strategy.
Joseph  Saunders, Visa’s executive chairman and CEO, could hardly contain  himself yesterday during the company’s second-quarter conference call.
At first, he was reluctant to say too much, only that an announcement  was coming later this month. But later in the call, he added that the  company will begin revealing plans as soon as next week.

Visa Says Mobile Payments Unveiling is Coming Next Week | AllThingsD

Visa is fulfilling its promise of being “everywhere you want to be,” beginning as soon as next week, when it plans to make an announcement regarding its mobile payments strategy.

Joseph Saunders, Visa’s executive chairman and CEO, could hardly contain himself yesterday during the company’s second-quarter conference call.

At first, he was reluctant to say too much, only that an announcement was coming later this month. But later in the call, he added that the company will begin revealing plans as soon as next week.

emergentfutures:

Peer-to-peer currency takes banks out of the picture

Now in beta, Bitcoin bills itself as “the first digital currency that is completely distributed.” In essence, that means that it’s managed collectively by a global network of users, so no bank or payment processor is required between buyers and sellers in any transaction
Full Story: SpringWise

emergentfutures:

Peer-to-peer currency takes banks out of the picture


Now in beta, Bitcoin bills itself as “the first digital currency that is completely distributed.” In essence, that means that it’s managed collectively by a global network of users, so no bank or payment processor is required between buyers and sellers in any transaction

Full Story: SpringWise

Google advances on mobile payment system, makes partnerships with MasterCard, Citigroup
 Google is making some new friends in the world of finance. They have announced partnerships with both MasterCard and Citigroup, that will allow users of Android-based phones to go shopping and pay with their smartphones at the register. Rumors about Google’s exploration of near-field technology for payment processing have been floating around for some time now, but we finally have some specifics to drool over.
Source: Physorg.com

Google advances on mobile payment system, makes partnerships with MasterCard, Citigroup

 Google is making some new friends in the world of finance. They have announced partnerships with both MasterCard and Citigroup, that will allow users of Android-based phones to go shopping and pay with their smartphones at the register. Rumors about Google’s exploration of near-field technology for payment processing have been floating around for some time now, but we finally have some specifics to drool over.

Source: Physorg.com

A Challenge to PayPal? American Express Launches Digital Payments

Less than two weeks after Visa’s announcement that it was launching its own peer-to-peer digital payment system, American Express is getting in on the game as well. The credit card company today unveiled Serve, its new digital payment and commerce platform.
Users will be able to send or receive money from their Serve accounts, which can be funded by a bank account, debit or credit card, or by money from another Serve account. With the new AmEx digital payment system, consumers will be able to make payments via the Serve website, via their mobile phones, and with merchants who accept American Express cards. Accounts will be accessible via Android and iPhone apps and through Facebook.
Source: ReadWriteWeb

A Challenge to PayPal? American Express Launches Digital Payments

Less than two weeks after Visa’s announcement that it was launching its own peer-to-peer digital payment system, American Express is getting in on the game as well. The credit card company today unveiled Serve, its new digital payment and commerce platform.

Users will be able to send or receive money from their Serve accounts, which can be funded by a bank account, debit or credit card, or by money from another Serve account. With the new AmEx digital payment system, consumers will be able to make payments via the Serve website, via their mobile phones, and with merchants who accept American Express cards. Accounts will be accessible via Android and iPhone apps and through Facebook.

Source: ReadWriteWeb