It was tale of two mPayment strategies on the conference circuit this week. Dickson Chu, global head of digital networks and mobile at Citi, alleged at BAI Retail Delivery in San Diego that the U.S. carriers’ ISIS mPayment venture is “a divisive distraction to the ultimate goal of mass-market m-payments,” according to Finextra.
"It's unclear what they are trying to achieve, other than extract a toll as gatekeepers," he said. "There's so much more that they could do...as it is they are just hampering the development of NFC as a mass-market commercial proposition."
Citi has thrown its hat in the ring with the Google Wallet venture, which currently can only be accessed by shoppers with a Citi MasterCard or Google-branded pre-paid MasterCard, according to Finextra.
Citi has gained insight into rapid application approaches and Web optimization strategies, says Chu, adding that Google has been aided by Citi’s expertise in regulatory compliance and payment processing.
"Google is not interested in payments," Chu added. "It wants banks involved."
His message to other banks at the conference?
"There is no exclusivity and no hidden fees," said Chu. "Get ready. Get your technology ready. The Wallet is open. Participate."
Meanwhile, at the CTIA Enterprise & Applications show (also in San Diego), Dan Schulman, group president of American Express' enterprise growth unit, expressed his desire for more partnerships between payments players and carriers.
"All of us need to play together," Schulman said in his keynote, according to CNET. "All of us have strengths and capabilities we bring to the table."
Mobile payments will not gain traction through the efforts of one particular player, he mused, adding that he thinks the mPayment evolution will take place gradually over the next few years.