Clash Of Titans - Mobile Billing Up for Grabs

Stephen Yagielowicz

A necessary hinge pin for the growth of all aspects of the domestic U.S.-based mobile industry, the adult space included, is the expansion of options and consumer adoption of secure mobile billing solutions, both in the real and virtual worlds.

Heating up the fray is a consortium of retail giants, including Target and Wal-Mart, which are reportedly dissatisfied with the results being obtained by competitive platforms Google Wallet and Isis, which is backed by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

As to whether or not any of this will directly impact the majority of adult merchants, the answer over the short term may be no.

Retail giant Target recently told the Wall Street Journal that the company is “exploring potential solutions that would help us to deliver the fastest, most secure mobile-payment experience possible for our customers,” though further details are scarce.

For its part, Google Wallet also enjoys retailer support of its initiative that allows for purchases via the tap of an Android Smartphone at any of a reported 300,000 Master-Card PayPass merchant terminals, including those at 22 large retail chains supporting Google.

The NFC based Isis platform is set to roll out across test sites in Austin, Texas and in Salt Lake City enabling point-of-sale transactions and coupon redemption via supported mobile devices, in its initiative which has attracted the support of American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.

Altogether, many of the biggest consumer brands have a stake in this fight. As to whether or not any of this will directly impact the majority of adult merchants, the answer over the short term may be “no,” but ultimately, any initiatives that bolster the breadth of domestic mobile billing services leads to the eventual benefit of the industry — by bringing in fresh players, new technology and paving the way to customer acceptance.

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