Update on use of Mobile Wallets in US & UK


For those of you followed my earlier blog on Mobile wallets ( the message its pretty much the same ( talks about the US market place which not surprisingly is further advanced than UK & Europe.
The article ( deals with situation in UK using the the same data set  mention in the earlier article but also also brings up some new statistics. But the general message for UK is that consumers like you and me are still concerned about security and it goes on to talk about how many consumers surveyed identified a lack of in-store promotion of contactless payment. The study also found that staff were frequently uninformed about contactless payment, unsure whether the stores accepted it, and unaware of minimum payment requirements or upper limits.

So the players who are trying to convert us consumers – you need educate your own staff as well as consumers – get your act together if you are serious about mobile wallets in the UK.

Google’s new mobile wallet

 Google has finally launched its mobile wallet in US of course. They have been trialing this new near field communication (NFC) technology since may 2011 in US. NFC allows for wireless connections, data exchange and simplified transactions between two devices in very close proximity, that’s the “near field” hence the name. The technology is linked to Mastercard for now but we are promised that Visa and American Express and Discovery are planned for future versions. Currently only the Nexus S smart phone, running the Google Android operating system is able to use this technology and you will need a Citi Mastercard or Google prepaid card as well, and be in US. All this is some way for anyone in Europe but don’t worry UK will be the first International market in the New Year.


In the past I have raised the security issue, I think it is still not fully resolved. However, we are told that transactions require a Mobile wallet 2Personal Identification Number (PIN) and the phone’s screen must be turned on, preventing covert or unwanted payment events, and the wallet function can also be disabled remotely. We will have to see how well this counters the hackers, I want to know what happens when the inevitable occurs and whether the cost is to be carried by me or someone else. What is the likely cost of insurance against fraudulent action? All these need to be answered before I buy into this new technology no matter how convenient.




If you want to know more about the various business and technological models which are being considered for the provision of mobile payments an the internationally renowned Business School in Barcelona (GFT and IESE) has looked in to this ( I refer you to this article titled “The Holy Grail: The Mobile Wallet”