A Big Week in Mobile Payments
It has been a big week in mobile payments with the announcement of the partnership between Visa and Vodafone in the UK where the two will work together to provide a worldwide mobile payment solution.
While the buzz around payments was focused on this announcement PayPal quietly continued to further roll out its in-store payment system announcing that within the next 2 weeks every Home Depot store in the US will be equipped to accept payments from PayPal customers. The two services are very different with PayPal’s modelnot utilising NFC technology as they maintain that NFC is years away from attaining mainstream critical mass. The other big differences is that PayPal customers can make mobile payments now, Vodafone and Visa customers do not have access to the new wallet.
It was interesting to read that in the press release Vittorio Colao, Vodafone’s group CEO was quoted saying that the Vodafone & Visa partnership represents the next stage of the smartphone revolution using innovative and reliable services developed by partners they can trust. I can only assume that Australia would not be early in their road map, as a customer of Vodafone “reliable services” are not words I would use to describe the company and in a market where there will be many mobile wallets choices for consumers in the future this will make this proposition more of a challenge when attempting to drive consumer adoption. The good news for Vodafone is by the time this wallet reaches Australia perception of their services may be very different.