I am currently attending the ATM, Debit & Prepaid Forum 2009. The event started today with pre-conference workshops.
Due to my recent work in mobile payments, I was interested to talk to Richard Crone about the key messages in his Mobile Payments workshop. Richard’s key point was that “the one who enrolls [the customer] is the one who controls [the customer] .” I found the discussion of the market potential for mobile payments was interesting; these days there seems to be industry consensus that person-to-person payment is not the leading application to drive consumers to use the phone for payments.
Richard proposes that mobile payments will gain momentum with prepaid – even without penetration of NFC terminals to support it. “Households have an average of 5 cards with $150 of unused funds.” If the phone can be used to redeem this value at the point of sale, the consumer will benefit, explains Richard. These comments add to those of my colleague Carol Coye Benson and her recent post on mFoundry. mFoundry announced a new Starbucks iPhone application using 2d bar code technology. The application puts the customer’s Starbucks prepaid cards on the phone. Like mFoundry, the mobile payments providers need to find a way to the point of sale.