MobeyDay Shines Again
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14 June 2013Zilvinas Bareisis
Earlier this week I attended MobeyDay, a second annual event when the Mobey Forum opens the doors not only to its members but the wider global mobile financial services community. As analysts we attend many conferences and it's easy to become somewhat jaded from hearing the same messages over and over again (usually, how big mobile already is and how it is going to become even bigger.) Therefore, it is very refreshing to come to an event where all the presentations and panel discussions are content-rich, insightful and thought-provoking. And for the second year running MobeyDay has delivered exactly that. Below are just a few of my personal highlights:
- Dave Birch gave an opening keynote presentation and talked about what the mobile wallets will "really" look like. He argued that for digital and mobile wallets to succeed they will have to deliver something that a physical wallet can't do, and that the "triple A play" - authentication, apps and APIs - will drive the next phase of the technology evolution. If done well, the actual payments experience will fade into the background - think the Hailo app for taxis.
- The message of payment experience disappearing and becoming embedded in the commerce transaction was also echoed in the closing keynote by Citi. Chip-enabling various devices gives rise to M2M (machine-to-machine) interactions, some of which will require seamless payment settlement (e.g. your fridge ordering a bottle of milk). While I am not convinced I want my fridge to go on a shopping spree and start buying a bottle of milk today and a few slices of ham tomorrow, I do agree that M2M is an important trend that will shape commerce and payment experience going forward.
- PKO Bank Polski presented its IKO project. In my digital wallets report a few months ago, I talked about the chasm between online and offline payments. IKO solution leaps over that chasm and delivers a solution that works across multiple mobile payment and banking scenarios, from physical payments at the POS and card-less ATM withdrawals to P2P and online payments. The bank calls it "4G mobile banking – mobile banking and mobile payments in one versatile solution." It's true that for now the solution is "closed loop", i.e. only works with PKO bank merchants and consumers, but it helps that PKO is the largest universal bank in Poland. The early results are impressive and PKO is willing to include other banks into the IKO ecosystem in the future as they continue towards "building of a new local mobile payments standard in Poland."
- The notion of moving away from mobile payment solutions built on card rails towards integrated mobile banking and payments directly from a bank account was a recurring theme throughout the day. I had the privilege of moderating a panel discussion among the representatives from Banco Sabadell, ING, PostFinance and Clear2Pay on value-added services for mobile banking. Whether the banks should be embracing the key asset only they have (the current account) and build bank account-based payments solutions was also among the many questions we debated on the panel.
- Finally, there were also very interesting presentations from Caixa Bank and PostFinance, as well as excellent panels on mobile payments disrupters, Big Data and m-POS.