The Main Problems with Mobile Payments, and Why I Started Seconds

I recently connected with someone at X.com and have been able to get some articles published on my view of mobile payments and the opportunities that lie ahead.  If you are not aware, X.com is part of the Xconomy/PayPal commerce network.  Below is a section from my first article:

Curiosity is actually what drove me to start a company. It all began by my observing how consumers interact with merchants; their tendency to repeat interactions particularly caught my attention. Isn’t it funny how we go to the same coffee shops, restaurants, retail stores, gas stations, websites, and other consumer activities each day? In fact, we do this so much that the person at the counter who “swipes” your card actually recognizes you and may even know your name.

Although loyalty started my entrepreneurial journey, it didn’t end there. I started to think a bit deeper about what people typically do each time they go to the coffee shops, restaurants, retail stores, or gas stations—yep, make a payment! Amazingly, payments are the one data point that can trace a consumer’s path through our economy and organize commercial actions, habits, relationships, and trends. Imagine being able to quickly aggregate and see all those data points in your own life—things like where you spend your money, how much, when, buying what, and how often. Now imagine seeing that on a merchantwide level. How about a worldwide level?

This thinking drove me not only to start a payments company, but also to figure out how to create the fastest way to transact and interact with merchants using a mobile device. Transactions and interactions driven through a simple text message take only a few seconds. I believe that if you speed up a traditionally laborious process, make it available to the widest range of people possible, and emancipate the data to be used in adding value to the system, great things will happen.

The article goes on to review the last 20 or 30 years of innovation in payments and then talks about a few of the current challenges in mobile payments, namely the fact that a full 75% of the world is being forgotten by most of the new payment platforms.  Go ahead, read the entire article.

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