If you believe the pundits, mobile payments are years away from being mainstream. But that’s not at all an accurate assessment of the state of the industry.
Firstly, a mobile payment can be many things. There are seven primary models for mobile-enabled payments:
- SMS based transactional payments
- In-App Payments
- Direct Mobile Billing
- Mobile commerce and/or web payments
- Peer-to-Peer payments
- Virtual currency payments
- Contactless payments
As of today, it appears that around half of the developed world has made a mobile payment of some sort in the last 12 months according to this criteria – at a minimum an in-App purchase made from a mobile or iPad would qualify. Put that in perspective, more people made a mobile payment in 2011 than wrote a cheque in developed economies like the US, UK and Australia!
Would you call cheques mainstream? Of course. So how can we not call mobile payments mainstream already?