Scott Loftesness - Glenbrook Partners

In a VeriFone press release today titled “VeriFone Says Merchant Buy-In Key to Success of Mobile Commerce“, VeriFone CEO Doug Bergeron outlined six “rules” that he said “industry participants need to adhere to in order to ensure success of mobile commerce.”

Bergeron’s rules are a good start at what the payments industry needs to consider as we float along in our current mobile payments bubble. Here’s a paraphrasing of his rules based on my reading – see the press release for more details.

  1. Retailers must benefit from mobile payments adoption – and their service providers may need to bear the costs until they do.
  2. Consumers must benefit – and not just from tapping a phone to make a payment but, rather, from “coupons, loyalty rewards and discounts.”
  3. Retailers don’t want to manage any more complexity from mobile payments – they want a “unified point-of-sale.”
  4. Getting to a consumer tipping point for mobile payments acceptance is critical. A “ten percent acceptance is not sustainable.”
  5. Mobile payments will co-exist with cards for a long time – and integrated, certified solutions for merchants will be required.
  6. Security matters. “Even minor setbacks in security could compromise consumer adoption and stop the movement in its tracks.” There’s zero tolerance for any security failures from any new mobile technologies.

Bergeron’s rules are a great start – even if his rules are only merchant and consumer-centric.

If we were to embrace and extend his list, we’d want to bring in the perspectives of the issuers, networks and mobile carriers as well. After all, they are key stakeholders in enabling progress in mobile payments and they expect it to be worth their while before they will participate.

Please comment below with your thoughts about what these other stakeholders want from a mobile payments solution? What are your “rules” for mobile payments?

5 Responses to “Bergeron’s Rules for Mobile Payments”

  1. Dave Birch says:

    ” There’s zero tolerance for any security failures from any new mobile technologies.”

    I don’t believe this. We have security failures with mag stripe all the time and people still use it: it’s a risk calculation, not an absolute.

  2. Dave, security is a slippery slope, isn’t it? Especially when you’re expecting consumers to make that risk calculation.

  3. Jon Matonis says:

    Scott, I would add opt-in privacy and transaction anonymity to a list of consumer-centric rules. When mobile payments are extended to prepaid phones, prepaid SIM cards, and non-phone portable devices, the ultimate comparison for the last mile will be mobile payments vs. physical cash not mobile payments vs. cards.

  4. Mike D says:

    Aren’t #4 and #5 complete contradictions?

    #4: “Mobile commerce must go from zero to 90 mph in five seconds.”

    #5: “Mobile commerce won’t lead to the quick death of plastic cards and must work with existing payment systems”

    Which is it Verifone?

  5. iPayStation says:

    I would have one of the laws be openess for innovation! Yes security must be in place, but to enact real innovation in the space the entire ecosystem needs to be open standards. Show of hands, how many think their is going to be an entirely new network for payments at retailers in the next few years? Google Checkout Network? PayPalRetail? Will someone bypass MC/Visa Networks with new payment network? What does the future hold for payments in Generation-M?

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