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Some mobile payment systems are better than others

January 26, 2015

Mobile payments are poised to take off in 2015 in a big way. While some services like Apple Pay are expected to perform well, others like Amazon's Wallet app are falling by the sidelines. Success of certain mobile payment systems versus others will be largely dictated by retailers and banks.

Mobile payments are poised to take off in 2015 in a big way. While some services like Apple Pay are expected to perform well, others like Amazon’s Wallet app are falling by the sidelines. Success of certain mobile payment systems versus others will be largely dictated by retailers and banks.

This year will be pivotal in the establishment of mobile payments
Seeking Alpha recently reported that 2014 was the year of mobile payments. Many leading technology companies announced the release of their respective payment systems, and consumers expressed interest in trying some of them out. It is believed by the end of 2015, mobile payment technology will no longer be an up-and-coming trend, but a fully established market.

The speed with which payment systems are accepted, however, will be largely dependent on retailers and banks. The more locations that accept payment with a smartphone, the more consumers will move to adopt the technology.

Some players are unable to compete with a fast changing industry
Computer World reported that Amazon recently pulled the plug on its Wallet app. The company introduced the app in beta mode six months ago in an effort to enter the mobile payments market. It seems that the app has not performed well and is now being pulled from Amazon and Google Play app stores. While customers will still be able to use the cards they added to the app, their balances will no longer be reflected in the wallet. An Amazon spokesman commented on the move in an email.

“We’ve learned a great deal from the Amazon Wallet beta program and will look for ways to apply these lessons in the future as we continue to innovate on behalf of our customers,” said the company spokesman, according to the news source.

Currently, future plans for Wallet app are unknown. The product enjoyed limited success as a storage space for loyalty and reward cards, but it did not store credit cards like Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Perhaps the app’s inability to compete as a full-fledged mobile payment technology is the reason it did not achieve greater recognition in the industry.

Apple Pay continues to steal the headlines in the mobile payment space
Seeking Alpha noted that Apple put forth significant effort in capturing a foothold with retailers, banks and credit card companies in 2014. Many retailers are beginning to realize the advantages of accepting payment with smartphone. Younger consumers seem more inclined to use the technology, and these consumers have indicated that they would prefer to go to retailers that accept mobile wallets over those that do not.

It is worth mentioning that with the release of Apple Watch, Apple Pay will be available to a larger audience. Since Apple Pay requires the ownership of an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, its growth was severely limited by the fact that some consumers did not want to buy a new phone. Since its upcoming wearable device offers Apple Pay in conjunction with several iPhone models, it may make the service far more popular in a short amount of time. Apple offers added security over traditional card payments and is fully integrated, allowing the quick authentication of transactions – which are key selling points.

Mobile payments are an area of interest for tech companies
ComputerWorld discussed how mobile payments continue to receive significant attention from technology companies. Industry players are working hard to figure out the best way to allow consumers to make smartphone purchases. Google was reported to be engaged in discussions about acquiring payments company Softcard to boost its growth in the space.

Amazon’s cancellation of its Wallet app, however, shows that the mobile payment industry is a complex and continually changing arena. Perhaps, Amazon has other things in store, but it remains to be seen.

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