Simon Rockman, editor of the GSMA's Mobile Money Exchange, provides his perspectives on the Verizon and AT&T mobile payment joint venture and its impacts to smartphone manufacturers.
The proposed NFC-based mobile payments joint venture in the USbetween AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile USA poses some interesting problems. While the mobile money community has focused on the partnerships, the impact and the business models, we've overlooked the big prize for the mobile industry: who will make the phones?
We know that people won't buy phones because they have NFC. They buy the phones they want and if the phones have NFC the customers might happen to use the feature. For all the love of megapixels and apps, whata phone looks like governs 80 percent of the buying decision. Some years it might need to be thin or pink or have a touchscreen - but neverdoes anyone say "I want to buy my sandwich with my phone." Still, someone has to make it work and secure, so the new JV has its work cut out. While AT&T and T-Mobile will have the secure element in the UICC (a posh name for a SIM), Verizon uses CDMA, and CDMA doesn't have aSIM in the US.