The distinction delineating online and offline payments is blurring as the world becomes more Internet-connected outside of the home or office. This mash-up of technology begins to create new opportunities for alternative online payments companies to play “in the real world.” In a recent conference in Canada, Scott Thompson, President of PayPal, spoke of the new ways people will pay in the future based on immediate consumption rather than intended future usage, citing the ability to pay directly to a journalist rather than subscribe to magazine or newspaper. From that discussion, CTV writes, “PayPal plans to have a presence on virtually anything that’s connected to the Internet – starting with smart phones and moving to Web-enabled TVs and other connected gadgets…”
As vending machines, parking meters, televisions, and mobile phones become increasingly Internet-enabled, PayPal’s 84 million consumer accounts and 8 million business accounts may be leveraged in the “real world” as a potential closed-loop payment rail. Those accounts, which have emails and passwords and some which have mobile numbers and PINs, become an interesting method to enable such payments for various Internet-connected devices. Many of these channels today leverage cash, which suggests a green-field opportunity in payments. Some of these devices are increasingly accepting cards, which begins to question how Visa (NYSE: V), MasterCard (NYSE: MA), and American Express (NYSE: AMEX) may react.
As more devices become Internet-enabled, the existing rails of off-line payments players may not be able to maintain the market dominance seen in the past. The battle of connectivity and payments rails will become an interesting one.
Menekse Gencer founded mPay Connect, a consulting service for clients seeking to launch mobile payments. Her consulting service advises banks, mobile network operators, and third parties on go-to-market-strategy, product design, and business development. Her market expertise extends from North America to emerging markets such as Bangladesh and sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to founding mPay Connect, Menekse led PayPal Mobile’s Business Development efforts in North America during which time she closed PayPal’s first mobile network operator deal to launch PayPal Send Money on Sprint.
Menekse has an MBA from Wharton and a B.A. in Macroeconomics from Harvard University and was previously featured on the cover of Fortune Small Business Magazine for her innovative startup in emerging technology. She is the founder of the Mobile Payments Series(TM) initiative which hosts panel discussions and networking events for professionals in the mobile money industry and has over 400 members in her LinkedIn Group: Mobile Payments Series – mPay Connect. She is a recognized expert in this field and has lectured on mobile money at events for Harvard Business School, Wharton MBA, and Columbia Business School. She is active in assisting organizations such as The World Economic Forum, mHealth Alliance, and IntraHealth on the intersection of Mobile Finance with industries such as Agriculture, mHealth, and Off-Grid Energy. She is a frequent guest speaker at mobile money conferences in Africa, South Asia, and The Middle East. Menekse is a board advisor to several startups in this space and has advised angel investors, venture capitalists, and hedge funds on the mobile money industry. She has 17 years of experience as a consultant and industry leader in high tech, mobile, and financial services.
To learn more about her consulting services, contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.