The mobile payments market has long been predicted to aggressively expand. The desire for the phone to become the wallet has led to the creation of many start-ups, while major players such as Google have tried to muscle in on the market too. Nevertheless, mobile payment solutions have not quite taken off, with Google Wallet yet to offer a universal solution for customers.
The market is expected to see a major boost this year though, with the announcement mobile payment provider Isis is set to launch in the US. The platform, which represents a joint venture set up by Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile US, will enable smartphone users with NFC handsets to pay for goods and services with a tap of their device. Currently, there are 35 million devices on the US market which support the Isis software.
Similar initiatives are taking place in the UK too. Major retailer Marks & Spencer has announced plans to experiment with mobile payment service Paddle in its stores this month. The service will offer a mobile app allowing customers to pay for goods via scanning an image on their smartphone. If successful, the trial is expected to be rolled out further.
Such services and pilots now seem to be gathering momentum, and it may not be too long until the smartphone replaces the wallet.