Thursday, May 03, 2012

Changing from a Platform to an Eco-System question

When mobile payments solutions were invented early in the previous decade, all wanted to build the best system. Different providers compared their solution platform to others. Richness of features, reliability and ease of use were compared and new angles to building a better platform was the topics of the day. Some even competed on price.

Nowadays the required features have largely stabilised and mainstream platform providers have emerged. The evaluation criteria for the selection of a mobile payment platform is starting to converge to a standard set and analysts have started plotting suppliers on their two-dimensional grids. That is why I believe that the question is not about a specific platform or which solution is best, but rather how will the solution fit into a bigger payment eco-system.

Nowadays it is more important to consider how easily can the payment platform integrate with others, what are the network payment services that will become available. Considerations like inter-operability, under-writing of payments, the width of acceptance etc. are much more important than what the system will do. The game has changed from a platform discussion to an eco-system consideration.