Still at Telco 2.0, I've just seen a scarily wrong presentation from someone involved in mobile banking & payments. It really shows up how long-lasting some of the more egregious memes can be away from the coalface of mobile technology development.
He gave a 2003-era view of convergence, postulating that a handset would subsume the functions of someone's PC, wallet and even keys. He gave various spurious "solution in search of a problem" mobile applications as alleged proof-points - such as the useless Westminster pay-by-SMS parking meters, or equally pointless handset-based boarding cards for aircraft. And he talked about the likelihood of using videotelephony on a mobile phone to talk to banks' customer service staff about arranging loans or mortgages.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that mobile myths and soundbites endure. I also heard an interesting anecdote today from someone who'd personally tracked down the iconic and oft-repeated "African fisherman + SMS for pricing" service and discovered that it was largely rubbish.
On the other hand, on the topic of mobile payments, I was much more convinced by a representative from the GSMA talking about mobile-based overseas money transmission. Apart from anything else, they're working with Western Union, who have a pretty good view of how this actually works in the hands of end-users. The speaker didn't blather on about phones replacing your wallet - he made the reasonable point that if some form of mobile wallet technology becomes more pervasive in handsets, then there may be some new and interesting usage cases.
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