The European Commission is expected to delay its decision on the proposed mobile wallet joint venture between Vodafone, Everything Everywhere and O2. The proposal, which intends to create a standardised mPayments platform for the UK, was originally planned to be released in time for the 2012 Olympic Games, but has already been delayed twice.
Russell Sheffield, director of innovation and development at mPayments platform provider paythru, welcomes the move. “While many might view the European Commission’s expected decision to delay mobile payments negatively, it’s actually vital to make sure that mobile payments adhere to standards, and are as secure as possible before any major launch, particularly for high-profile events like the London Olympics,” says Sheffield. “Consumers need to be assured that personal information like card details are safe and, while imposing PIN codes on transactions is a good start, storing information on the device itself means customer data is left open to criminals, if the device is lost or stolen.”
Sheffield also points to the limitations of an NFC-only approach: “Not only is it expensive to implement NFC terminals, but chips will have to be developed for the devices themselves and what about the consumers that don’t have the latest smartphone devices? This narrow approach to mobile commerce is likely to hinder the widespread adoption of this technology. Mobile payments should allow customers to make secure, frictionless payments from any location and from any device so that they never have to see the back of a queue again.”
Read our analysis of the EC's decision here.