Insightful Report on Mobile Wallets by Nora Young, Spark Radio

Nora Young–host of “Spark” on CBC Radio

Next  Sunday, an insightful report on the Mobile Wallets by Nora Young will be broadcast on CBC Radio’s “Spark” program in advance of the Mobile Money Forum in Montreal on June 21, 2011.  The podcast of this report was posted this morning.

In her report, Nora uses a variety of different interviews and prior reports to present to her listeners with a clear picture of what mobile wallets will become in the relatively near future.  Also, Nora’s report touches on the most important issues that surround the mobile wallet and mobile commerce in general. Unlike many other reports in the media that I have seen this since the Google/ MasterCard/ First Data/ VeriFone announcements last week, Nora focuses on the consumer experience, and the practical application  of mobile  wallets. Also, she uses excerpts of interviews with myself and others to clearly describe some of the terminology the benefit of consumers without using overwhelming jargon.

I found Nora’s report to be balanced and sensible.   I have read many other articles and reports on the mobile wallet that focus on the extreme possibilities: the answer to all woes of mankind, or the first step to us all becoming irrevocably tethered to our computers. I don’t believe the mobile while it will approach either of those extremes, and I was refreshed and delighted to listen to Nora’s report as she explained these issues neither the  marching–band fanfare nor the apocalyptic prophecies that I have seen elsewhere.

Tune into her broadcast on CBC  Radio Sunday afternoon at 1:05 PM (4:05 PM on the West Coast) to listen to her show throughout Canada, and in some parts of the northern US.

One of my comments in Nora’s interview has  gained some attention:

Here is he quote:

NORA: How well do you think (mobile wallets) will ultimately catch on with consumers?

DAVID: I think ultimately 99 out of 100 consumers will use either the Google Wallet or a product very much like it probably within the next four or five years.

Yes.  I said that.  No, I am not recanting, retracting, or removing.  Based on my analyses on mobile payment systems, mobile commerce programs, the Google Wallet (and other products similar to the Google Wallet), EnStream, and the Canadian payments market.   However, I thought it would be helpful to provide a little context:

My “99% figure” is based on the  percentage of Canadians who will make at least one transaction per year (the definition of an ‘active user’) during the year 2016 with Google Wallet or any other product similar to the Google Wallet. That transaction could be a retail purchase, or coupon redemption, or loyalty program activity, or any of the other services offered by the the Google Wallet and its competitors.

Time will tell, but I think as NFC phones proliferate the North American market over the next several years, and the ease of joining a mobile wallet program (which I describe in the interview) and the breadth of products offered to consumers will make the number of users as a percentage of the total population in Canada extremely high. I don’t have a figure yet for the United States, but I  suspect it will be lower.

The, podcast of the unedited interview is also posted online.

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