Apple's soon to arrive iPhone 5 may have a built-in NFC (Near Field Communication) chip to allow mobile payments, with much speculation about who Apple might partner with for such a venture.
Google has already entered into an alliance with MasterCard and Citi for its 'tap and pay' Google Wallet service, and there has been a lot of talk about Apple teaming up with PayPal.
Speaking of a potential Apple-PayPal deal at an AIIA event in Sidney, Rod Farmer, co-founder of Mobile Experience, claimed the partnership would offer "the shortest path between two points for a consumer in terms of spending. You don't have to worry about merchant banks [and] you don't have to worry about the network ... there are fewer mouths to feed, there are fewer existing relationships that need to be altered,"
It's interesting to take into consideration what Laura Chambers, PayPal's director of mobile operations, had to say about this: "You need that first trigger for [retailers and merchants] to follow." Maybe, Apple adopting NFC payments (in collaboration with PayPal) could offer such an impetus and really set the mobile payments ball rolling.
A possible partnership of this kind could determine local banks to completely rethink their strategies.
In Farmer's opinion a team up of this kind could be troublesome for banks, since nearly any form of payment would be allowed in an open online system.
Still, Andrew Henderson, chief information officer of ING Direct thinks differently to Farmer, saying that payment mechanisms wouldn't necessarily bring disaster for the banks. In his opinion, banks should mainly focus on strengthening their position as a trusted broker.
During the same AIIA event, speakers also complained about the slow progress of the Mambo group, a coalition of the major banks and Bpay.The team has been working on a payment system to assign individuals with a Bpay number, allowing peer to peer payments.