As Amex joins its main rivals as part of the ISIS team and that consortium seems to be enjoying renewed confidence, we look further afield for mobile payments news.
To Tonga, first, where, according to a 2011 World Bank report, remittance payments constitute more than 30 percent of the Tongan GDP, placing it the second in the world for dependence on remittances. Digicel Pacific has launched a mobile wallet (NFC chip included).
Darren McLean, commercial director, and his team “think this will open the way to making Mobile Money the everyday means of payment in our Pacific markets – from groceries, airtime top-up and utility bills, through to wages and government payments.”
Innovation in the mobile area is happening in the emerging economies, where mobile access to the web is huge compared to developed economies. The impact of mobile cannot be underestimated – according to Bill Clinton, speaking at CTIA, for every 10 percent mobile increases its penetration, one percent can be added to that country’s GDP.
Even amongst ‘fears’ that M-Pesa is partly responsible for inflation in Kenya, the innovation keeps coming. Now, you can buy Government Bonds via your mobile, as well as pay the bills, transfer some money and send out an invoice. Other fears would include the increase in fraud as a result – both internal fraud and the tried and trusted external types.
Oddly, the kick start that mobile has provided the economy is leading to a big increase in the take up of credit cards – presumably as the previously unbanked become banked.