Industry Terms: Mobile Payments

June 19, 2012

This is the latest installment in The Official Merchant Services Blog’s Knowledge Base effort. Well we want to make the payment processing industry’s terms and buzzwords clear. We want to remove any and all confusion merchants might have about how the industry works. Host Merchant Services promises: the company delivers personal service and clarity. So we’re going to take some time to explain how everything works. This ongoing series is where we define industry related terms and slowly build up a knowledge base and as we get more and more of these completed, we’ll collect them in our resource archive for quick and easy access. Today’s terms is Mobile Payment Processing.

Mobile Payment Processing

Mobile Payment Processing — also referred to as mobile money, mobile banking, mobile money transfer, and mobile wallet — generally refers to payment services operated under financial regulation and performed from or via a mobile device such as an iPhone, iPad or Android smartphone. Mobile payment processing is an alternative payment method; instead of paying with cash, check, or credit cards, a consumer can use a mobile device to pay for a goods or services.

There are four primary models for mobile payments:

  • Premium SMS based transactional payments
  • Direct Mobile Billing
  • Mobile web payments (WAP)
  • Contactless NFC (Near Field Communication)

Mobile Payment Processing is being adopted all over the world in different ways. It is predicted to exceed $600 billion in revenue worldwide by 2015 according to a study by Juniper Research. This revenue, if realized, would be double the figure as of February, 2011. The Mobile Payment market for goods and services — excluding contactless NFC transactions and money transfers — is expected to exceed $300 billion globally by 2013. Some mobile payment solutions are also used in developing countries for micropayments.

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