U.S. Wireless Carriers Unite Around Mobile Payments


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The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), a trade association for the electronic payments industry, today announced the beginning of its new Mobile Payments Committee. The committee will be a task force whose job it is to consolidate consensus on mobile payment technology in the U.S. and throughout the world. All four of the major U.S. wireless carriers will be represented on the committee: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

“Mobile payments represent a game-changing business opportunity for our industry, and ETA’s mission is to help our member companies succeed in this business,” said ETA CEO Jason Oxman. “Our industry must work collaboratively to ensure that the regulatory and business environment promotes innovation and cooperation. As the trade association of the payments industry, ETA is the hub of activity in mobile payments, and our Mobile Payments Committee will help ensure that consumers and merchants have access to an efficient, reliable and secure mobile payments system.”

In addition to the mobile operators taking part in the Mobile Payments Committee, credit card companies, financial institutions, hardware manufacturers, and software developers will all be represented on the committee. Google, Wells Fargo, PayPal, Panasonic, and every major U.S. credit card company will have representatives on the committee. The Mobile Payments Committee will begin meeting in August and then hold monthly meetings. Jackie Moran, executive director of federal relations for Verizon, will chair the committee.

“As a nascent industry, the mobile payments market is just beginning to realize its full potential as a robust enabler of global electronic commerce,” said Moran. “The Mobile Payments Committee is designed to ensure that the early stages of mobile payments are handled in the best possible way: with insight and ingenuity from all the players - private as well as public sector - involved in the exciting future of mobile payments.”

The mobile payments industry has not yet taken off in the U.S. or much of Europe. With the news that Apple will include NFC technology in the iPhone 5, it's clear the mobile industry thinks Apple will quickly propel mobile payments in the U.S. and Europe. T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom has been expanding its mobile payment services this year, including a partnership with MasterCard.