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OPINION Are “Mobile Payments” actually “Alternative Payments” or simply “Payments” and should merchants really care?    

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Can the telemedia industry do more to drive e-commerce? You bet; especially for digital propositions where seamless and immediate payments processing is a key to customer engagement and acquisition.

But it’s not going to be easy; with Apple and Google bearing down on one side, ever more boisterous regulators on the other and the MNOs apparently shying away from a fight they should really be leading.

So is it any wonder that we’re now seeing “alternative payments” working it’s way into the vernacular? To some (outside the Telemedia industry) this might very well just mean “mobile payments” but, to those within the industry it seems to represents a much wider view of the “payment ecosystem”.

It looks very much like the “MNO, platform, aggregator / service provider” end of the value chains is being unravelled and put back together – in new and interesting ways. Who’d have thought that open payment platforms [that offer hundreds of solutions for a global market]would be so readily available through aggregators that have simply responded to MNO inertia?

And isn’t it good to talk e-money with Oxygen 8 and wallets with Veoo – especially when they can seamlessly integrate loyalty cards, offers and even tickets?

So the commercial landscape is changing fast [for payment processors]and this will be evident at the forthcoming World Telemedia show in Marbella (18-20 Oct). Here, an established community of innovative payment providers (traditionally focussed on carrier billing / charge to mobile / PRS business models) will be showcasing a wide range of “engagement technologies” that will enable their clients to continue driving value added content and services to ever broadening markets.

However, amidst all this optimism, look out for note of caution from the editor of Mobile Money Revolution – Tim Green. Whilst his comprehensive update on mobile payments will have its fair share of success stories – there might just be a sense that now is the time to grasp an opportunity before it gets away!

So whether its “alternative payments”, “mobile payments” or simply “on the move” payments [using a mobile device]– merchants really won’t care because it’s converting more customers that ever before! And, if you want to capitalise on this “window of opportunity” make sure your in Marbella on the 18th – 20th October – whilst it’s still very much open for business!

 

Visit www.wtevent.co.uk for more details.

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