Sunday, January 04, 2009

Credit Card payments for everything

I recently read a great article written by George Thomas (Read it here). It eloquently made the point that credit cards are not designed to be used for all payments. That card payments are unsuitable, expensive and risky for a number of applications. The inherent risks associated with fraud and credit could have major ramifications for the financial system as a whole.

I think it would be correct to add that credit card payments (maybe with a few exceptions) are not at all suitable for mobile payments either. The characteristics of the mobile phone and the multiple applications made possible via mobile payments require a new type of payment. To bend and modify card payments to also support mobile payments is folly.

George made the point that the blanket use of card payments for everything is driven by silo's in large banks - each with their own products and personal objectives. He also mentioned that greed is a major driver for taking the wrong decisions. Could I also offer another reason: "Lack of an ability to think outside the old banking norms."

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