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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mobile payments = logo on a plastic card #2

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about O2 launching "mobile payments" by simply sticking their brand on a plastic card, with the focus on pre-paid credit cards, often used by teenagers or those without bank accounts in a given country.

It's a lot easier than messing about with NFC or various other clunky handset-based payment mechanisms, with convoluted value chains and numerous practical difficulties. Done well, it can probably share back-end software components and may over time evolve to something mre sophisticated.

But for now, convergence at a brand level in payment services is much easier than at a technical level.

Evidence of this is provided by UK mobile retailer Phones4U now doing much the same thing.

I'm sure others will follow suit (and perhaps have done already - these two are just prominent UK examples).

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