Both Banks and Mobile Telcos Were Dared by Tech Giants, with Very Different Outcomes?

If you watched TV in the US on Sunday night, it was hard to miss the new Samsung ad taking Apple head on. There were 2 brutal comparisons between Galaxy and iPhone: wireless charging and mobile payments. Yes, Mobile Payments on primetime television! Of course, I am not representative of the average consumer when it comes to getting excited about this, but if you are reading this article, chances are you at least thought about it. Here’s what I was thinking: that ad was TechCo1 Pay vs. TechCo2 Pay. There was no MNOPay or BigBankPay. The big banks at least had their branded card images prominently displayed. The Mobile Telcos? Nothing!

We have of course covered the US MNOs’ misadventure in mobile payments comprehensively. But this inability of telcos to do anything productive outside their core is not a US-only phenomenon. We see it everywhere, especially in mature, competitive, multi-dimensional ecosystems such a ...

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