Monday, June 21, 2010

Mobile momentum building up

When we established the Mobey Forum 10 years ago (festivites last week) it was with an impressive group of founding members; MERITA BANK PLC,  ABN-AMRO BANK,UBS AG, DEUTSCHE BANK AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT,  BARCLAYS BANK PLC, HSBC HOLDINGS PLC,  VISA INTERNATIONAL SERVICE ASSOCIATION,  BANCO SANTANDER CENTRAL HISPANO,BNP PARIBAS,  SKANDINAVISKA ENSKILDA BANKEN AB (PUBL), ERICSSON BUSINESS CONSULTING AB, MOTOROLA, NOKIA CORPORATION and a good number of other members joined during the five years I had the honor to act as a chairman.

Since then some have left - but many more have join (also mobile operators) and the group has been through hard work delivered a good number of fundamental white papers and pilots. Mobey Forum can look forward to the next 10 years..

The original key target was to create a model where a bank customer can:

1. choose any bank, any handset and any operator

2. change any one or two of these without having to change the others

In other words - a movement against walled gardens. This has not been achieved and of course it is a reason for disappointment. But that does not mean that the vision has been abandoned - on the contrary - now that so much is happening in the global payment and extended payments markets, in handsets and networks etc it is obvious that the work will continue with renewed vigor.

The foundation has be built on competition-enhancing principles - like the ones agreed upon by all parties in the public-private partnership for the strong e-id-solution in Finland:

1. Tool-neutrality (one-time passwords, certificates - and new ones to appear)

2. Service provider-neutrality (e-bank-logon id dominates in many countries, as it is ready, secure, cost-efficient and comes with a huge user habit - but also other organizations that have strong enough tools and above all processes to check documents supporting the "attachment" of the tool to the citizen in question are welcome)

3. Platform neutrality in the mobile service (SIM-cards and other repositories for certificates are supported).

With these principles and hard work for standardization and win-win networking we will one day see that cash (invitation to crime - costing 50 bn€ a year + massive CO2 effects) and also plastic cards of all sorts (10-20 bn pieces issued every year - and very seldom made from recycled plastic..) will disappear in practical terms.

One important step forward last week was Nokia's announcement that all smartphones will come with NFC in 2011. This will make it possible to start interacting with contactless card readers in public transport and start creating the POS-user habit from this high-volume end.

Another area which will create big user habit is notification and alerts. Nordea Bank has launched as service where a consumer gets a notification that an e-invoice (1bn pieces a year in Nordics alone) has arrived. He/she can then also press A to get it paid.. So it is already interactive. Easy to see what kind of similar notifications/proposals can be built up - not only serving the finance sector - but all sectors with x-supporting similarity.

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