So much news, so little time, or is it the other way round?
ISIS made not very much progress this week, as it inches (sorry, centimetres) its way towards a launch before the end of the summer. They will have to hurry, summer ended in April where I live. Some NFC enabled devices, authorised for use on carriers’ networks involved in ISIS, have in turn appeared on Mastercard’s master list of approved equipment. Not time to hold the breath, though, as this might signal the beginning of the long awaited pilot, not exactly world domination. The Cynic must wonder whether ISIS might yet go the Way of WAC. This view seems to correspond to Google and their Wallet’s, who took another swipe (if you see what I mean) at ISIS by saying that their model of direct provisioning between issuer and the secure element in a device is simply not scaleable. During a Q&A session recently, Google Wallet man Robin Dua said “There are 8,500 issuers in the US and literally it will take them a lifetime to actually work through negotiations with all these issuers.” Hmm, good point.
Meanwhile The Cynic nearly binned news from Visa which sported the headline ‘Mobile Money Market at Tipping Point’ on the Homer Simpson principle of ‘Duh’. However, in the interview, Niki Manby, head of emerging products for all sorts of interesting regions at Visa, said that the tipping point is now because Visa, who think of themselves as an enabler, was seeing a greater energy towards collaboration and that the eco-system and infrastructure is nearly there. The most interesting comment, though, was about NFC. NFC, says Niki Manby, is an important piece in the puzzle but in the areas of adding value to the experience, not simply about the transaction and payment. So say, well, all of us.
And so we wait. Will they? Won’t they? Will the Lawyer’s Favourite Cupertino Client launch a device with NFC in it? The Cynic thinks not, and anyway, if they do, it will about something other than, or bigger than, payments. NFC is.
The Cynic thinks that mobile advertising is also at a tipping point, but that is another story….perhaps tomorrow’s.