Commentary

Mobile Payments Validation & Facebook's Peer-to-Peer Plan

Portions of the mobile commerce market tend to simmer under the service for some time before exploding out, often at the hands of another.

Mobile payments is a good example.

  • Mobile payments startup LoopPay was gradually introducing, deploying and perfecting its mobile credit card emulation technology. The company got it to work with more and more terminals, nearing somewhere around 90%. I used it successfully in numerous cities and countries around the world. It was hardly main stream and then, boom: Samsung bought the company to incorporate its technology into the Samsung Galaxy S 6.
  • Mobile payment startup Paydiant created and perfected QR-code based payment technology through the cloud. Its technology was rolled out as the white labeled payment engine behind  the scenes by several companies, including Subway and the coming Merchant Customer Exchange. It was somewhat under the radar, and then boom: PayPal bought Paydiant.
  • The convoluted mobile carrier consortium of Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile, formerly-known-as-Isis, Softcard introduced its Android-friendly NFC payment system, which operated under the radar of recognition.  A lot of the bugs in the system got worked out over time and then boom: Google bought Softcard’s technology, giving its Google Wallet a jolt.

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And now Facebook is launching its own no-charge, peer-to-peer money transfer service.

Sending money to each other is in the multi-billions of dollars in scope with mobile simplifying, automating and digitizing the process.

Simmering companies like Venmo proved that this is a viable and consumer-desirable activity.

The point is that there is validation and then there is VALIDATION.

For example, NFC worked for payments on Android phones for some time and then Apple legitimized NFC by adding it to the iPhone 6 for Apple Pay.

Apple validated NFC.

And now Facebook is validating peer-to-peer mobile money transfers.

The biggies entering any segment of the mobile commerce ecosystem market can cause that segment to explode to the surface of mass acceptance.

And now the peer-to-peer payment volcano is about to erupt.

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