U.S. Mobile Payments Short Term Viability is Low

by Joe on March 17, 2009

cell-phonesA lot has been said of the new mobile payments company Paymo and other mobile payment companies as well. They turn your mobile phone into a charge card by entering your phone number as payment and then shooting you a text message to verify the amount. That payment then gets billed to you via your mobile phone bill. In theory, this is a great idea. But fees and the gate keepers – mobile carriers – cause implementation problems with high fees.

So until Paymo gets in bed with the mobile carriers we cannot call this one a win. Mobile carriers charge 20-50% fees to do a payment like through Paymo. So if you buy 10 dollars worth of groceries, you actually pay 15 dollars for them if you pay using Paymo.

So I don’t think unless some deal is had there, that Paymo is viable in the short term.

Long term I’d like to see a Verizon Wireless merge with Visa or some combo like this.   I think it is a very closely related revenue stream that could be championed by the new ID device – your cell phone. 

This new mobile/credit card company would be a mobile payments company to be reckoned with, your Verizon account becomes a credit card?  Something to think about here…

How do you think we will pay for things five years from now?

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