Some experts talk about the possibilities of replacing all cash and card transactions with a mobile commerce solution. Others are not convinced such a thing will be possible outside of developing worlds where cards are already ingrained in the way that consumers operate.
That was one of the messages expressed during the Mobile Commerce World Conference in San Francisco this week. According to ComputerWorld, one of the ongoing themes of the event was the way that mobile payments have already transformed the financial lives of many in less developed countries but are experiencing a tougher road to adoption in larger developed nations.
The reason for that is because some of these smaller areas have had their entire banking system built around smart and simple phones, so using those devices for everyday payments is not such a stretch. That is not the case in areas like the U.S.
Bill Gajda, the head of global mobile products at Visa, was interviewed in the article and spoke about the company's bKash digital wallet program in Kenya. Since launching two years ago, 2.2 million residents have used the mobile payment solution, and it is also adding 11,000 users per day.
"This is an enormous opportunity to really replace cash and check, with its inconvenience and in many cases ... lack of security in these markets, with a very safe way to make mobile payments," Gajda said.
However, in developed countries, plastic is already a dominant option. Because of this, many merchants would be wise to add promotional material and options to their mobile payment solutions.