In the mobile payments business, various participants, from different segments of the value chain, and some intending to create space for themselves in the value chain, have made a run at mobile payments. Mobile service providers were the first to admit at least temporary defeat in the U.S. market, as the Softcard business was sold to Google.
Google, in turn, has struggled to make mass market inroads with its own Google Wallet and then Android Pay service. Apple Pay and Samsung Pay also are among the device or operating system providers trying to create a position within the ecosystem.
The retailer consortium, CurrentC, is the latest to fail. In some ways, Currentc had a potent argument: it represented major retailers who are the “buyers” of payments systems and services.
Banks and card processing services, plus PayPal and other app-based payment systems therefore remain in the race to win share in the new business.
Some believe the device or operating system suppliers will win.
At the moment, the same sort of uncertainty exists in every part of the Internet of Things ecosystem.
There is just no way, for example, to tell how the “access” or “connectivity” market ultimately will develop, or who the leaders will be. Similar uncertainty exists in terms of operating systems, chipset suppliers and most importantly, in terms of the applications and services to emerge first.
As with the mobile payments business, value must be proven before consumers or businesses will adopt any particular service or approach. And there is just no way to know for sure which services will prove to have the clearest business model, early on.