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The First Rule Of Mobile Payments

Posted on Jan 30, 2012

You can't make a mobile payment without a mobile device involved in the transaction.

Sound simple enough? Not for many in the mainstream press, according to Russ Jones, a writer at Payments Views.

Jones wrote that he cringes at the apparent confusion about what constitutes a mobile payment. Stories about PayPal's beta test of its mobile payment solution with Home Depot put him over the top.

While the stories accurately described what was being tested, he said, they didn't notice that a mobile device wasn't involved in the transaction.

According to Jones, this was the gist of the story: Here's how PayPal's Mobile Solution works. First you swipe your PayPal card and then you enter your PIN.

Where's the mobile device, he wondered.

So Jones is issuing his first natural law of mobile payments: there has to be a mobile device involved in the transaction.

There are lots of different mobile payment domains, lots of different use cases and lots of different solutions but if they don't involve a mobile device to some degree, we certainly can't call them mobile payments, Jones wrote.

Jones said that he isn't complaining about PayPal. They have plenty to boast about in terms of mobile payments. Just don't refer to its multi-channel commerce initiative as a mobile payments strategy, he wrote.

Source: Payment Views, January 2012