The last day of the mobile-fest that is Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, and Samsung have announced a mobile wallet app for users to keep all their coupons, vouchers, tickets and membership cards in one place.
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When Apple launched Passbook there was excitement in the air (for all of 24 hours), at the thought that this was the mobile manufacturer’s first tentative steps into the domain of NFC and mobile payments.
A safe option is to start with mobile couponing wallet, similar to Passbook, which is what Samsung has launched today at MWC. However, these schemes are only as good as the volume of partners and brands involved.
What is the point in having my Starbucks points in my mobile wallet, if my Costa card isn’t? (Although, in regards to Starbucks, what’s the point in having a mobile strategy with a postal service for your coupons?) But I digress…
The same goes for flights, it’s great to have my Lufthansa boarding card on my mobile ready to scan at the gate, but what if the following week I travel with a budget airline which doesn’t? The CO2 I huff and puff while riffling through my draws for my travel wallet would probably equate to the CO2 I’m plunging into the atmosphere. But I digress again…
Samsung partners so far include: Belly, Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Lufthansa and Major League Baseball Advanced Media – that’s not going to get you far in day-to-day life without your wallet? However, the company did say that they were still in development, so we can keep our eyes peeled for more announcements which will later go unnoticed as they won’t make enough noise in the industry on their own.
I understand that the concept of the “mobile wallet” doesn’t necessarily mean leaving your traditional wallet at home (yet!), but surely we should be aiming high for that type of lifestyle, knowing that we will fall short, to what will hopefully be a happy medium with plenty of brands to choose from.
I know these things take time, but in the UK we’re already so far behind in the realms of NFC, it actually seems like science fiction rather than possibility.
Early this week at MWC, Visa announced a partnership with Samsung to accelerate mobile NFC payments.
Visa will include its payWave NFC applet on the next generation of Samsung NFC-enabled handsets. As part of the alliance, Visa will also partner with financial institutions to push forward global mobile payment solutions.
Maybe we’re starting to get somewhere after this week, but until then, pass me my Radley purse.