It’s not new development in social media, but something closer home, something you do every day and the show of strength of Google in this domain is slated to spice things up in 2012
It’s been a decade since this has existed in the horizons of business, never coming to the limelight. 2012 is slated to change all that and once that happens, it will have cascading effect on the way the world does business and with it everything else. No, we are not talking about social media or revolution or politics or any other things that trended in 2011. We are talking about something that will affect all of these with the ease of its operation. We are talking about Mobile Payment Systems.
Mobile communication devices have existed since the radio. But while they were used only for extreme situations, like wars (remember a soldier carrying a big back pack that helped battalions communicate with another in first and Second World War movies?). Yet, it was only when mobile communication married the technological advancement in another field – computers, that mobile communication came of age. And once this happened, it swept the world. In the last two decades mobile devices have come to prominence, with the new millennium seeing its use shot up exponentially.
Today your mobile device that fits in the palm of your hand is not just like a mini computer, but is more powerful than supercomputers that occupied whole mansions in the 50s and 60s. You can today use it for things that were unimaginable for even science fiction writers at the beginning of the last century. Yet, one of the final frontiers in the use of mobile devices - using it as a payment gateway for everyday transactions - has taken longer than expected.
Globally, there have been many experiments with the same. In India one of the first ones to try an SMS based payment system through a mobile phone was mChek which later got christened mChek and got incorporated with Airtel. Then there are Paymate, Obopay, JiGrahak among others in India. Yet, so far mobile payment systems have existed only in the fringes of business and commerce, in India and abroad. That, however, is all set to change in 2012 as one of the largest private corporations in the world, Google Inc., aggressively push their Google Wallet application on mobile devices. This has already started little battles.
The whole last week the world has been abuzz with Verizon Wireless denying the Google Wallet app to be loaded on the Galaxy Nexus smart phone that runs on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. Google released a statement saying, “Verizon asked us not to include [Google Wallet] functionality in the [Galaxy Nexus] product."
While this might look like Verizon sabotaging a good Google product, the truth as Scott Cleland writes in Forbes is different, “Google also is no longer the mythical “two guys in a garage,” but it is increasingly the dominant mobile player, commanding 97% share of mobile search, 80% share of U.S search advertising, 53% share of U.S. mobile operating systems, and 44% ofglobal online advertising. In addition, Google brazenly projects Android’s share of all TVs globally will be 50+% in 2012. This is all strong evidence of Google’s self-serving concept of “open Internet” competition, which is that everything owned by everyone else should be free and openly accessible to Google without permission.”
Google is no stranger to profits and growth. It knows where the next big business opportunity lies and it is determined to be there when it is unfolding. What this is thus doing, is bringing the attention to mobile payment systems. And if Google goes somewhere, others will obviously follow.
This if 2011 was the year when Social Media flexed its muscles, 2012 will become the defining year when mobile payment systems will come of age. And when it does, it will not only have conquered one of the last domains in the use of mobile phones, but will also change the way the world does everything. Mobile payment systems will thus be the biggest trend in 2012.
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