The Hard Cell

By: Robert D. Becker
– Intellectual Property Magazine

The mobile banking and payment industry is booming. Growth is not limited to bank consumers using smart phones for paying bills or transferring funds. Retailers and e-tailers are cashing in too with their own applications ("apps") and services that offer on-line shopping, point-of-sale payments and everything in between.

Almost daily there are reports about rapid growth in this area, for reasons including the importance of mobile transactions as a revenue source and as a key component to customer satisfaction. For example, Gartner has estimated that the global market for mobile payments for last year (2012) would exceed $171bn, a 62% increase from the prior year (2011), and would reach $617bn by 2016. Moreover, a recent American Bankers Association survey showed a sharp increase in the popularity of mobile banking in the US - driven mainly by young adults. Although regular internet access was the most popular banking method, mobile banking was preferred by 6% of all customers (a 100% increase from 2010), and by 15% of customers 18-34 year old. One telling example of growth in this area is that by October 2012, just 10 months after its nationwide launch, the Starbucks Card Mobile app had in-store customers making 2m mobile payments every week.3

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