Banks and Wireless Carriers Get Serious About Mobile Payments

MA: Mastercard logo

Isis is a joint venture of the top three mobile service providers in the U.S., AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and T-Mobile. Announced in November 2010, it aims to build a mobile payment network that utilizes mobile phones to make point-of-sale purchases. It intends to fundamentally transform how people shop, pay and save and deliver new levels of competition and value to consumers and merchants. All four payments networks in the U.S. Visa (NYSE:V), MasterCard (NYSE:MA), Discover Financial (NYSE:DFS) and American Express (NYSEAXP) are already working with Isis toward making mobile payments a reality for million of consumers. Now JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Capital One (NYSE:COF) and Barclays have said that they will let their customers use a mobile-payments service being developed by Isis. [1]

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Mobile payments are becoming increasingly popular but are still in the early early days, but banks, payment processors, wireless carriers and technology companies are all working together to make this a reality for consumers. There is something for everyone in the mobile eCommerce market. For the banks, there is an opportunity to reach wider audience. The bank’s logo will be displayed every time a customer needs to make a mobile transaction. The account linked to the mobile wallet could then become consumer’s favored account, creating opportunities for cross-sales.

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For the payments processors, mobile payments will significantly boost the number of processed transactions, earning them revenues in the form of transaction fees.

AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile together provide wireless service to more than 200 million consumers who will have access to the mobile payments service. Mobile payments will eliminate the need for consumers to carry cash, further boosting transaction volumes for payments processors.

For wireless carriers, increasing the use of their networks for mobile payments will earn them additional revenues either in terms of service charges or through business partnerships with banks and payments processors. Technology companies will also benefit from the surge in demand for mobile payments related hardware and software.

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  1. Three Big Plastic Issuers Take Step Toward Mobile Wallets, Feb 28, 2012, WSJ []