Major US carriers, Google form mobile payments alliance, Apple not on board

In another sign that the industry has high expectations for mobile payments, four major carriers in the United States along with Google and a bunch of other players have struck a mobile payments alliance called Mobile Payments Committee.

The initial members include carriers AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile USA, but also Google, Isis, VeriFone and PayPal, in addition to financial institutions Wells Fargo and Capital One plus credit card giants American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.

Apple is conspicuously absent from the list, as is mobile payment startup Square, which last week announced an interesting partnership with Starbucks. The iPhone maker, of course, is believed to be putting NFC circuitry inside the next iPhone and just recently acquired NFC and smart sensors maker AuthenTec for $356 million…

According to a media release, the organization’s members will collaborate to “develop and implement industry-wide solutions to the complex policy and business issues surrounding the emergence of mobile payments in the U.S and globally”.

The Mobile Payments Committee website says the its purpose is “to influence, monitor and help shape the merchant acquiring industry by providing leadership through education, advocacy and the exchange of information”.

It currently has more than 500 members worldwide.

Here’s a video of Google’s Wallet solution in action.


As Mobile Payments Committee comprises the industry’s biggest names in finance, wireless and mobile payments, it’ll no doubt gain ground.

However, it’s fairly safe to say the industry may need Apple to mainstream mobile payments due to popularity of its iPhone.

Besides, Apple has the most shoppers on the web, with over 400 million iTunes accounts with credit cards enabled for one-click purchasing.

Apple also filed for an interesting patent which envisions NFC laying the groundwork to enable connected home and has been researching iWallet shopping app concepts and is reportedly working on an iPay solution.

The big question is, will people switching from pulling plastic out of their pocket to just waving with their handset to make payments on the go?