Socially Awkward Teens Could Ignite mPayment Usage

Our industry has long debated the company and business case that will drive mobile payment adoption. Yet David Messenger, American Express’s head of online and mobile, recently offered a particularly unique theory:
“Messenger said in an interview to me that the bigger opportunity is in the international markets, and for now it’s focused on teenagers in North America, who struggle in social settings,” wrote Tricia Duryee of the Wall Street Journal’s AllThingsD. “He said the benefits are obvious when splitting a check at a restaurant, divvying up rent and utilities among five roommates every month, or being the person who fronts the money to buy tickets to a concert for a group of 10. Those transactions today are largely conducted with cash and checks.”
Messenger at Mobile Future Forward in Seattle had been participating in a roundtable discussion with leaders from Google, Wal-Mart, T-Mobile USA and OpenMarket, noted Duryee.
“The key thing that we’ve found resonates is the social aspects,” Messenger reportedly said. “This is about new growth opportunities and people who use cash and checks. … It’s the social experiences that don’t have great solutions. It’s awkward.”
Walmart’s SVP of online and mobile, Gibu Thomas, advocated that the company would never force consumers to use mPayments, while T-Mobile Chief Strategy Officer Peter Ewens asserted that mobile technology provided enhanced payments security.
However, all the panelists concurred that NFC is still a few years off from widespread adoption at the point of sale. The executives agreed it will take more time for phones with NFC to become predominant among consumers and for retailers to become interested in installing NFC-enabled payment terminals.
Click here to read more of Messenger’s thoughts on NFC.


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