LIVE FROM TOMORROW’S TRANSACTIONS: Learning from past mistakes, co-ordination and the innate conservatism of users regarding money all figured in the Mobile Paleofutures Expert Panel.
“Things that we learnt didn’t work, get shredded”, said Dave Birch (pictured), global ambassador for Consult Hyperion, the consultancy that organised the event, reflecting on the tendency to erase failure from the collective memory.
On the same point, Tony Moretta, formerly a director of the Weve m-commerce venture, described how an executive from a mobile operator showed off a co-branded physical credit card to him a few years ago. Moretta pulled out his own card from the same operator but launched 13 years earlier.
Comments from David Abbott, payments lead EMEA of financial technology vendor Fiserv, showed how unevenly technology develops, thanks to user reluctance to change. The vendor runs a successful business in using mobile devices to process physical cheques, he said. “Cheques will be sticking with us for a while longer yet,” he said.
Another example of the unforeseen way technology is taken up was given by Birch, who previewed a speaker for Thursday’s session from the South Yorkshire Credit Union. The speaker will pay tribute to O2 Wallet, which the UK operator closed in January. Yet the credit union will say the wallet was a popular means for distributing benefit payments to the unemployed.
Meanwhile Mike Short, vice president of Telefonica Europe, referenced SMS as a lesson from the past that the industry should learn, although he also noted: “Mobile money transfer we didn’t predict. Maybe if we had been more people-centred and not standard-centred we could have done more.”
However James Brocq, director of management consultancy Le Brocq Associates, pointed to this week’s news about how Google has dropped NFC-mobile payments from its wallet for older versions of Android.
He reflected on what it says about mobile operators and NFC as “another damning indictment that collaboration will not happen or it will be too late”.
His point was that collaboration – either within an industry or between mobile operators and banks – is a lesson that always needs to be relearnt.