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Mobile Money: (NFC) A Solution To A Problem That Doesn’t Exist

Which brings us neatly to the problems I have with this concept of the majority of us jumping from cash and cards to smartphone money and NFC systems. Debit cards have been around since the early eighties and, in 2011, banks still issue cheque books. OK, that is about to change over the next year or two as a result of fewer people actually using cheques any more, but it has taken more than 25 years to get to this point. If we are to believe the NFC hype then the general public acceptance jump from debit card to smartphone as payment method will take less than five years. That, frankly, is very hard to believe, even for an evangelistic and unashamed geek like me. (Of course, the fact that the research suggesting this was commissioned by Monetise, a “global enabler of mobile money services” does nothing to help me accept the conclusions.) But let’s take a closer look anyway. I am informed by this research that the number of people in the UK using their mobile phones to manage their money (access bank accounts, make purchases and perhaps pay some bills) has doubled in just two years. Sounds impressive, but it has doubled from 5% to 10%, so hardly anything to get really excited about. The research insists that the number will go past 50% “in the next few years...

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