The concept of mainstream mobile commerce options have been promised for a long time now, but it’s long been thought that the major wireless carriers would have to somehow ban together to make the concept a reality. That day is rapidly approaching.
Bloomberg is now reporting that AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile USA are on the verge of entering a joint-venture with Discover Financial Services and Barclays to pursue a massive push for large-scale mobile commerce for consumers. The reported venture would be significant for several reasons, with the largest being that it would represent a material threat to the existing credit and debit card businesses operated by Visa and MasterCard, as well as signifying the largest mainstream push for mobile commerce yet.
Transactions would be processed through Discover’s payments network, which is currently the fourth-largest behind Visa, MasterCard and American Express, while Barclays would manage the accounts. Details are scarce as to exactly what the plan is, but mainstream “contactless” payments via NFC or otherwise are likely at the center of the venture.
While many thought carriers would never work together on such a lucrative concept, they’ve likely realized that this type of move would be advantageous to not only the carriers themselves, but consumers and the mobile commerce industry as a whole. Going it alone might open up the possibility for third-parties to quickly sew up the market, but banning together while the market is evolving is a brilliant thought-process that will undoubtedly work for the betterment of the entire ecosystem.