Everybody Do Your ShareTheodore Iacobuzio |
The story in this morning’s Wall Street Journal (subscription required) that some very high-powered retailers are looking to ride the mobile payment wave is just the latest in a series. Every prospective player in mobile wants to stake out a claim.
The story, however, raises more questions than it answers. Here’s the money quote: “The push represents an effort by frustrated merchants to get the upper hand in the fast-developing market that turns cellphones into payment devices. The race pits the retailers against banks, credit card networks, telecommunications firms and technology companies.”
Lots of tripwire words in there: “frustrated,” “upper hand,” “pits…against.” It bears repeating. None of the necessary pieces of the mobile puzzle can do without any of the others. Otherwise the puzzle won’t make any sense.
The great Victorian churchman, John Henry Newman, is reputed to have said to his fellow clergy regarding the people in the pews, “We’d look pretty silly without them.” That’s the way it is with mobile payments. Merchants need banks need networks need telcos need “technology companies” (explode that phrase!) need merchants need banks…you get the picture.
And what they all need are consumers. But that, as the man said, is another story.
Topics: Payments Strategy