Is the US Getting Closer to Adopting Mobile Payments?

Are we getting closer to the day where we can pay for goods and services with our mobile phones?  All signs seem to be pointing to ‘yes’ with major telecom operators, card issuers and handset manufacturers on board with the idea.  Here are but a few of them.

Isis, a mobile commerce joint venture between AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, said recently that Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express have all agreed to support its mobile payment platform, based on NFC.  Isis also said that it will test its payment system in Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas, in the first half of 2012 with support from all four payment networks. This news comes hot on the heels of Google’s announcement of its mobile payment product, Google Wallet, last May.  And Sprint, too, has mentioned plans to introduce a mobile payment platform.

But is there truly a demand for this technology? Are consumers on board yet? Well, yes, or so it appears. A recent study conducted by Kelton Research for MasterCard Worldwide found that 62 percent of Americans who use a mobile phone would be open to using their device to make purchases “wherever their errands may take them.”

And, in more good news: consumers will have the smartphones to support NFC mobile payments.  ABI Research expects that the number of NFC-enabled phones will double next year, from 35 million devices shipped in 2011.

So, it seems that yes, the day for mobile payments is fast approaching.  Not tomorrow, or next week, but this time next year? It is definitely possible.

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