So far, the adoption of the mobile payment services have been slow. Both PayPal and Google Checkout rolled out their mobile versions, but not many people actually use them. Now, Verizon Wireless is teaming up with mobile payment specialist Obopay to roll-out its own mobile payment solution.
The main idea seems that such carrier-backed project could be successful, going further than similar services. Personally, I doubt that will be that case, as from what we know, it won’t be a hassle free process from the start. Two reasons emerge – first, the billing for the mobile payment service is separate from the carrier’s billing; and second, users will be required to download a separate application before sending any money. See the problem here?
In order for this to hit the mainstream consumer, the billing should be integrated and the application should come preinstalled on the device. Still, it doesn’t sound that far away, especially when we list to Irv Henderson, VP of Product Management for Obopay, who said that Obopay is hoping to ultimately integrate with the carrier’s billing. Now that would be something.
UPDATE: Check out the full release after the jump.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif. and BASKING RIDGE, N.J., June 20 – Verizon Wireless customers will soon have another option when they shop other than just cash or credit — they will be able to pay using their wireless phones. Obopay, the first comprehensive mobile payment service in the U.S., today announced with Verizon Wireless, the leading wireless company with the most reliable voice and data network, they plan to make Obopay’s services available to Verizon Wireless customers in the coming weeks. Obopay is the first mobile payment offering for any major U.S. carrier, and it will allow Verizon Wireless customers to make purchases easily and directly from their mobile phones.
The Obopay service allows users to receive, send and spend money instantly and effortlessly via their mobile phones — whether shopping at their favorite store, going to the movies or dining with friends. Users can immediately access their mobile money using an Obopay prepaid MasterCard, which can be used at any ATM or retail outlet that accepts credit cards. With Obopay’s user-friendly features, users can also check their account balances, collect money owed from other mobile users, view transaction histories, and invite friends to use the service.
“After a series of industry-firsts, Obopay has once again shown unrivaled leadership by working toward making its services available on the Verizon Wireless network,” said Obopay chief executive officer, Carol L. Realini. “We look forward to working with Verizon Wireless to deliver our mobile payments services to its customers.”
Obopay will initially run on Verizon Wireless mobile phones as a BREW application that can be downloaded from the Verizon Wireless Get It Now online catalog. After downloading the application, users will be able to sign up for the service directly from their Verizon Wireless mobile devices or at http://www.obopay.com. Signing up friends will be easy — users simply send cash to prompt others to sign up or issue mobile alert invites. The service will also be made available as part of Verizon Wireless’ Mobile Web 2.0(SM) service. Download charges for Get It Now applications vary and airtime charges apply when browsing, downloading and using certain applications. Customers need a Get It Now-enabled handset and Verizon Wireless digital service to access the Get It Now virtual store.
[Via: The Wall Street Journal]