#IRX13: The Mobile Payments revolution has been delayed

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Of all the trends that we have seen emerge in the past year or so, the one that if the most exciting and is possibly the most revolutionary is mobile payments. That’s to say, making and taking payments with a smartphone or tablet.

It’s important for several reasons. It blurs the line between online and offline commerce, it offers merchants new ways to incentivise, reward and communicate with customers and also disrupts the status quo and the stranglehold that big providers (Visa, Mastercard et al) hold over the payments sector.

There is a huge scope for exciting innovation and a brave new world of payments, but it occurred to me at the Internet Retailing Expo at the NEC last week that the mobile payments revolution seems to have stalled.

I’ve been impressed by what companies like iZettle in the UK and Square in the US have been trialing. It was good to see recently that PayPal Here is *almost here* in Britain. At IRX it was interesting to see new kid on the block Znap are developing. They’re thinking about mobile payments in a different way and we’ll be writing about them soon.

But, as it stands in my experience, it’s all theoretical. I’ve watched countless promising promotional videos and taken onboard all the slick marketing schtick. But I haven’t has a chance to try it out for myself.

At PayPal’s lavish stand at the heart of the IRX event, I could buy a cup of coffee with a cash or card (and to be fair, Chris got the drinks in). But I note with disbelief, that at the 2013 Internet Retailing Expo I could not buy a coffee at the PayPal stand with the PayPal Here product. PayPal cited technical difficulties at the NEC for not allowing a demo. And, to be fair, noone else was offering hands on trial. But, in any case, it was a disappointing opportunity missed.

I am desperate, more than a year after first writing about mobile payments, to try them myself. I’m waiting for the great leap forward.

3 Responses

  1. lemmings take a great leap forward every so often lol, when they cant decide if they are going to use betamax or vhs or 8 track or cassette lol

  2. Anybody remember QXL? Much bigger than ebay UK as we entered the new millenium.

    Why do Paypal have to charge £20 a month for virtual terminal? If they dropped this charge they could clean up and wipe out other merchant services virtually overnight.

  3. I bought fabric I would not have otherwise bought at an antique quilt exhibition in the vast interior remoteness of Flyover America with three (yes 3) vendors just so I could try Square from a buyer viewpoint. Seller was very pleased with system and in process of transitioning to it from regular CC processing in their B&M shop because it is about 1/2 the price.

    Sioux Falls big box home improvement store employees discourage buyers from using PayPal at checkout because “it makes it hard for accounting & there has been a lot of fraud”

    There’s a surprise for you.

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