Tag: mobile banking

Is Apple NFC technology is holding back mobile wallets?

A group of banks in Australia have accused the iPhone maker of delaying the progress of mobile payments.

A number of Australian banks have come together in a claim that Apple NFC technology restrictions are keeping mobile payments from progressing. They feel that mobile wallet services could be advancing faster across multiple platforms, but the iPhone maker’s tech restrictions are proving to be highly problematic.

The banks have said they feel that lifting the NFC restriction considerably change the ecosystem.

The group of Australian banks described the struggle they feel with the Apple NFC technology restriction in a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission(ACCC). The submission was 27 pages long and described the way the NFC restriction is not only stopping new mobile wallets from being accessible across different platforms, but it is also placing a barrier in the way of progress.

Apple NFC Technology - NFC Mobile DeviceThe four banks insist that the restriction is leading to a fragmented customer experience and that if access is not made available there “simply will not be the same incentives and ability to innovative,” when it comes to progress on iOS based devices or others, for that matter.

The restriction from Apple NFC technology is important in Australia as it represents 40% of smartphones.

In the report from the banks, they pointed out that “approximately 40% of smartphone sales are iPhones,” in the country. That said, they also underscored that “the value and importance of the iPhone customer segment for app uptake, use and expenditure far outweigh this share.”

To illustrate the point, the report said that about 60 percent of mobile banking transactions come from iPhone users. Moreover 70 percent of Australian mobile app revenues come from those same devices. As Apple smartphone users are more likely to use mobile wallets and banking and will more readily embrace newer technologies, these are also the users most likely to push tech innovation, such as with mobile payments.

By restricting the Apple NFC technology, the banks claim that progress in other areas of mobile payments is being hobbled. iPhone users are typically more tech focused, wealthy, engaged by and attached to their devices. By cutting them off from tech other than that produced by the iPhone maker itself, competition and opportunity from elsewhere is stunted, said the report.

National mobile payments system launches in India

The Unified Payments Interface is meant to simplify transactions over smartphones in the country.

The national payments system launched in India this week. The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is designed to let shoppers complete transactions using mobile phones. So far, the launch includes 21 particpating banks. Customers of those banks can already use the mobile payments services.

Among the banks include ICICI, Axis Bank, Yes Bank as well as eighteen others in India.

With UPI, customers can use the national mobile payments system to both send and receive money. All they need is a smartphone and an account with a participating bank. This system functions by assigning a “virtual identifier” to a user, instead of a person’s actual identity. The purpose is heightened mobile security. There are a number of different functions available by way of the platform. The functions include: bill payments, barcode based in-store purchase transactions, real-time peer to peer (P2P) transactions, delivery payments as well as several others.

The national mobile payments system was initially announced in April and has since been pilot tested.

National Mobile Payments - IndiaThe pilot initially consisted of bank employees. Now that the pilot is complete, availability has broadened substantially. Any Indian bank with more than 1,000 pilot customers and a success rate of 80 percent with 5,000 or more transactions can use the UPI mobile apps. They can offer their branded version of UPI mobile payments applications by way of the Google Play store. That way, it can be accessed by the general public in India.

By using those requirements for launching the mobile apps in the Google Play store, the goal was to incentivize participation in the pilot. That way, there would be a greater capability for improving the application before the nationwide launch. It is possible for existing mobile users to integrate their platforms into the Unified Payments Interface.

Some have predicted that this national mobile payments platform will be very helpful in boosting e-payment adoption in India. That opportunity has the potential to move the country forward in its progress toward financial inclusion. This is important as only just over half of Indians (53 percent) currently have bank accounts.