Meet the Mobile Payments Players

A closer look at the evolving landscape of mobile payments providers.

June 1, 2013

Here’s a closer look at the evolving landscape of mobile payments providers, according to “Enter the Mobile Payments Era,” a CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council and CUNA Technology Council white paper:

• Apple Passbook. Passbook is like a digital card carrier. It pulls together electronic coupons, loyalty cards, movie tickets, and boarding passes and keeps them in one location on the smartphone.
• Dwolla. Dwolla, an e-commerce company based in Des Moines, Iowa, provides online, mobile, and social network payments via four different implementation models based on a credit union’s needs. Dwolla’s FiSync integration for financial institutions enables members of partner financial institutions to instantly send and receive funds via phone and Internet, and at stores. The Members Group, a credit union service organization also in Des Moines, is an investor in Dwolla and distributes FiSync, giving consumers immediate access to the company’s alternative payments platforms. They load funds to their Dwolla account from their credit union account and can use those funds to pay anyone. Using Dwolla Spots—a smartphone app allowing users to locate Dwolla-enabled merchants— they can pay participating retailers in real-time, according to The Members Group.
• Google Wallet. This free Android app stores consumers’ credit card, sale offer, and loyalty card information “in the cloud” on highly secure Google servers, according to the company’s website. Eventually items such as receipts, boarding passes, and tickets will sync with the app.
• Isis MobileWallet. Isis will hold virtual versions of items typically found in a consumer’s wallet, including credit and debit cards. Consumers will pay with a tap of their smartphone at Isis-Ready (NFC-enabled) merchants. Initially, this mobile wallet will work with two types of American Express cards, the Capital One Cash credit card, and the Chase Freedom credit card .
• Mobile PayPass. A collaboration between mFoundry, Larkspur, Calif., and MasterCard, Mobile PayPass combines MasterCard’s “tap and go” technology with mFoundry’s financial services platform to enable contactless payments at PayPass-enabled merchant terminals.
• Visa payWave. Visa tested the payWave mobile payment app during the London 2012 Olympic Games, according to the Visa Viewpoints blog. As with a plastic card, consumers who lose their phone can contact their financial institution to cancel the account. But unlike plastic, consumers can obtain replacements immediately.
• PayPal. PayPal enables payments and receipt of payments online, via mobile devices, and in-store. It allows people to send money without sharing financial information. The company has 113 million active accounts in 190 markets and 25 currencies around the world.
• Square. The company’s focus is on everyday transactions between buyers and sellers. Square’s free credit card reader for the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices allows anyone to accept credit cards anywhere, anytime.