Industry moves towards mobile wallets

Mobile commerce may often be linked with security concerns which in turn call for regulatory intervention. But these concerns could simply be viewed as a matter of perception differing from one individual to the next, said Sybase 365 business development director Tarik Husain at the CommunicAsia2011 Summit.
 
“The small amounts typically transferred via the mobile aid in building trust for the system,” said TransferTo’s VP of marketing Erik Van Thielen, adding that mobile payments took off in Kenya partly due to limited intervention from authorities. “Having too much regulation could actually stifle the industry.”
 
Husain added the lack of regulation most central banks currently have toward mobile wallets could in fact be a catalyst for the industry’s success, particularly in Asia.
 
Industry players have barely scratched the surface for mobile payments’ potential in Asia, across both the banked and unbanked segments, said panelists. InMobi head of new business initiatives Piyush Shah said the firm’s research showed 80% of consumers have purchased products via mobile, compared to 60% in the US.
 
The availability of cheaper mobile money platforms has helped move the industry toward mobile wallets, said Utiba president Andrew Gastaldello, while Tranglo CEO Sia Hui Yong said the current availability of realtime transfers has helped transform the landscape, especially for migrant workers.
 
Having successful mobile airtime transfers was the first step toward real-time monetary payments, concluded both Sia and MIG33 CEO Steven Goh.

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