Europe and Asia have been ahead of the US in many areas of technology for decades, and it’s no different when it comes to payment technology. For quite a while, cell phone users in Europe for example, have had the ability to pay for transactions with their phones, and businesses benefit from the convenient method of accepting payments. There’s a good reason why consumers in Europe have this capability: Europe doesn’t have a few large cell phone companies dominating the market like the US does. This lack of dominance within the cell phone market in Europe allows the smaller companies to be more competitive and innovative, so they advance more quickly than we do in the States.
Payment by cell phone is an option that can offer a huge number of benefits to both businesses and consumers. Vensi believes that businesses may eventually look to smart phones that aren’t carrier based, whether they use voice over IP options or other technologies, in an effort to develop products for phones that aren’t limited by carrier restrictions. It can be very frustrating for a large corporation to be restricted based on what large cell phone carriers are targeting at consumers. Some of these restrictions can seem arbitrary and self-serving…cell phone carriers can act like bullies in this country.
A prime example is the newest Android, the Galaxy Nexus. As a mobile development firm, we’ve been waiting anxiously for the Galaxy Nexus to be released. It’s supposed to have Ice Cream Sandwich, a new operating system for the Android platform designed to enhance functionality. It was also supposed to have both NFC and Google Wallet. The phone was delayed, however, because unfortunately, one of the major carriers nixed Google Wallet from the phone.
The problem with cell phone carrier bullies is that, in some ways, they control the market – and the technology that is available to businesses and consumers. They become very protective and territorial, wanting all of the services to go through them as a carrier, placing a lot of restrictions on their OEMs.
Google Wallet was removed from the new Android because it represented a loss of control to the carrier. Cell phone carrier bullies, rather than using an already-developed service that would immediately benefit businesses and consumers, are greedy and try to develop their own service first to maximize their profit.
Some of the larger cell phone networks have caused an unnecessary challenge for developers, depriving businesses and consumers from the full technological advantages that other people around the globe have been enjoying for a long time. From a mobile application development perspective, adopting a European attitude toward cell phone carriers and cell phone technologies would provide a huge benefit to businesses and consumers in the US, increasing innovation and reducing costs.Sadly, that won’t change until we all stand up to cell phone carrier bullies and demand full access to all the breakthroughs and advances.