February 2, 2014
This Single Patent May Deliver A Huge Blow To A Dozen Startup Companies
On December 12th, 2013 while most of the US were focusing on holidays, the US patent office released a patent application filed on June 12th, 2013 by Apple. It appears to be just a small patent application but is actually a huge treasure trove of embodiments and presents a very detailed path Apple will take in retail payments.
Back in 2001 while all of us in States or otherwise were still talking about Y2k stories and Tech bubble burst, somewhere in the lesser talked about world, Mobile Payments were being conceptualized. It was in this corner of the world, which is marked by high per capita incomes, that companies such as Nokia and Seamless were putting the pieces together to disrupt Money. In September 2001 Nokia launched a dual-chip solution in collaboration with payment networks, banks and called it EMPS (Electronic Mobile Payment Services).
This article is Let’s Talk Payments second in the US mobile wallet analysis series. As discussed earlier, m-wallets are in early acceptance phase and there is no clear winner in terms of technology or business models being used. We saw the evolution of mobile wallet in the first part of this series. There are some very good head-starts, lots of pilots and failures and some partial successes. Thus, it is difficult to predict the early winners without getting into granular details.
Digital wallet segment in the Commerce and Payments sector is buzzing with activity since the last couple of years. Though, the adoption has not reached any sort of tipping point but it has garnered a lot of interest. With multiple industry reports/sources estimating the market (Mobile Payment) to grow to trillion dollars in size over the next five years, the current traction doesn’t seem too encouraging.
We have been writing a lot about the prospects and potential of iBeacons over the last 6 months. Some merchants have started adopting them and others are implementing them. In this article, I will try to analyze the high-level impact of putting iBeacons at every merchant/company that has also implemented an app on passbook. I love coming up with these fun-filled, what-if scenarios as a solution seeker. What will happen in terms of end user experience if all merchants using Passbook also start using iBeacons. And since all of these merchants are heavily bought into the Apple eco-system concept, it might not be too far fetched an idea to imagine these things happening.