The two biggest mobile companies in the US, AT&T and Verizon Wireless, are teaming up to launch a new financial venture, which will allow consumers to pay for goods with a swipe of their smartphone – in effect forming a new banking entity and putting them in direct competition with the likes of Mastercard and Visa (who already have contactless payment methods called “payPass” and “payWave”).
What’s interesting about this development is that it uses something most of us already have – a smartphone – so the barrier to entry will be much lower. And as one expert put it, “The mobile carriers are the biggest recurring billers in every market. They are experts at processing payments.”
Perhaps in the future our banks won’t be banks, but phone companies.