Smart phones are taking over and payments on mobile phones are becoming accepted ways of sending and receiving money for millions of people. According to research company Javelin Strategy and Research, mobile phone companies will be controlling the customers and be the channel of payment flow, not the banks.
In the US, four mobile phone carriers control most of the market. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile have 244 million customers.
The number of US consumers with smart phones has nearly doubled in the past year, from 9% to 17%. Overall,, in 2008, 13% of US mobile phone users said they were likely to use mobile P2P payments , a 5% rise from just one year early when 9% said they would. Javelin estimates that 26 million Americans are now to give mobile P2P payments a go.
The title of the Javelin Strategy report is “Mobile Person-to-Person Payments: Mounting Telco Activity in a Mobile Channel Segment That Financial Institutions Can’t Afford to Lose.” Of course, some of the money being sent and received reside in bank accounts. But, the mobile companies will control the relationships and will get the lions’ share of the payment processing revenue fees and profits.
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