A Recap of Money2020

October 30, 2013 Arunan Sridharan

Mobile payments, the future of NFC, making mCommerce more convenient – these are the types of topics that we observed at Money2020. Here are some of the highlights from the conference:

Isis’ Refreshed App

For those unfamiliar, Isis is a joint mobile payments venture supported by AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile US. Isis CEO Mike Abbott spoke at Money2020 to share insights on Isis and give a live demo of the refreshed app.

It was fascinating to watch the progress these folks have made, as Isis was little more than a concept just three years ago. More importantly, Abbott announced that Isis will distribute its refreshed mobile payments platform nationally within a matter of weeks.

Many experts are keeping a skeptical eye on Isis because of its reliance on near-field communications (NFC) technology. NFC is currently not supported by Apple devices and appears to be the major sticking point. Will it go the way of the QR code? This was a hot topic at Money2020.

Expert Opinions on NFC

Sequent co-founder Hans Reisgies confidently predicted that NFC will be the main facilitator of mobile payments. He doesn’t have to look far for evidence: his company just signed a deal with Sprint to distribute NFC to millions of users.

In order to address iOS devices’ lack of NFC abilities, NFC Forum Vice Chairman Mohamed Awad highlighted how there were over 300 million NFC equipped phones expected to ship in 2013. Awad also mentioned how there were various devices that would enable NFC for iOS devices. (Isis is creating a solution for this as well.)

The implications of NFC aren’t restricted to mPayments. NFC can be used in a variety of different ways, such as sharing files and in promotional campaigns. The primary focus of NFC has been related to mCommerce and technology such as Paypass – which makes the mCommerce experience much more convenient.

mCommerce: Convenience and Security

Mary Monahan, EVP and Research Director, Mobile of Javelin Strategy & Research, identified data entry as a barrier to mCommerce. Convenience is a prerequisite to increasing purchases on mobile. Much like how Amazon introduced the one-click purchase for eCommerce, retailers now need to figure out what the mobile equivalent is without jeopardizing security.

Convenience and security can co-exist happily together, which Bill Ready, President of recent Paypal acquisition Braintree, highlighted. We’d previously shared some techniques to balance convenience and security in mCommerce.

Closing Thoughts

There were many other exciting moments during Money2020, such as the claim that bank branches are dying (we’ve previously written about the evolution of branches), to wondering what the consumer-facing name of MCX will be. For a broader look at key takeaways from Money2020, have a look at their blog. The financial services sector has never moved faster, and Money2020 was just a glimpse into its future!


Connect with Arunan on LinkedIn.

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