"Mobile Payments A Failure"

Mobile wallet adoption in the retail payments space was always going to be a lengthy process in developed markets, for a couple of logical reasons. 



For mobile payments to succeed, there has to be "something broken" about the business model or experience, for customers, retailers or bankers and processing networks. 



It's hard to make the argument that paying using a debit card or credit card is flawed in some significant way, causing customer or retailer pain.



“It’s my opinion that the swipe isn’t especially broken,” said Josh Silverman American Express consumer products president. Silverman likely was being generous. 



“On wallets generally, we have had wallets in the market for quite some time, and there has been fairly limited adoption of those wallets," he said. 



"I think ‘fairly limited’ is generous" as a way to describe market success for many mobile wallet efforts, Silverman said.



And that is a problem Apple will confront if and when it launches its own mobile wallet effort. To be sure, up to this point, Apple seemingly has focused more on redesigning the retail experience by redesigning the payments process. 



The way people can buy products in Apple stores illustrates the "no-register" approach to the retail experience. 



To be sure, one can make many arguments about the other ways mobile payments and mobile wallets might affect retailing. Those angles range from personalization to promotions and marketing, loyalty, logistics and inventory implications. 



These days, less seems to be claimed about how mobile payments speeds up checkout processes or lowers retailer costs. 



And that is the issue Apple will confront, as have all others. The retail payments system fundamentally is not broken. And it is hard to sell a solution to a non-problem. 




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