Is the mobile wallet a 'white whale?'

In the payment world, the mobile wallet has long been seen as the white whale.

In the payment world, it seems that the mobile wallet has long been the industry's white whale. Many experts have spoken about it, bloggers have created rumors of its existence and consumers have clamored for it, but still it doesn't really exist in the mainstream. So why is this the case?

A recent article in the New York Times attempted to answer this question by speaking with several industry experts. Jenna Wortham mentioned that there have been a number of companies making a small push into the mobile wallet market like Starbucks, LevelUp, Square and Apple. The problem is that none of these solutions have been able to capture the minds of a majority of consumers and the problem could be choice.

"The biggest problem for paying by cell phone is that so many kinds of businesses are competing to offer services," the article reads. "Companies as varied as phone carriers, banks, credit card companies and technology start-ups have had plans to get into the mobile payment business, but many are locking horns over who can profit the most."

There are others that believe if Apple adds NFC technology to the new version of the iPhone and has a high-quality application to support it, it will add a massive boost to the trend.

The next few years will see many changes to the mobile commerce and payment industries, but whether or not the white whale is finally captured is yet to be seen. Regardless, merchants should partner with a payment solution provider to put them in a better place to adopt to any future changes.

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