• Type: Survey report
  • Date: 6/17/2011

Monetizing mobile: Navigating the technology maze 

Navigating the technology maze
One of the central debates for mobile payment participants revolves around the method by which devices will enable mobile payments.

“The technology question will need to be solved within the next 12 to 18 months.”

- Daniel Houseman, KPMG in Australia

Enabling mobile payments

Most mobile technologies require some form of ‘enabler’ to transform the device into a secure payment method, and each has its own benefits, risks and customer appeal.

And while mobile devices will be the catalyst, everyone – from banks to Mobile Network Operators and handset manufactures – is focused on defining, developing and dominating the underlying technology behind mobile payments.

Indeed, much like the battle between Beta and VHS in the 1980s or Blu-ray and HD DVD in the last decade, many players are quickly lining up behind a specific technology and preparing to promote and defend their investments.

Review of emerging mobile technologies

To help executives understand the issues, our survey includes a technology table that illustrates the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ of each emerging technology.

Mobile banking technologies





SMS text Widespread in developing world, many alert applications and some payment options in developed world Can be used across platforms and carriers, smart and dumb phones, easy to use and fairly safe Not permitted in some regions, some security concerns, reduced functionality.
Mobile browser Widespread in developed world, particularly within regional and second tier banks, mobile browsers connect mobile users to an augmented internet banking site. Familiar to internet banking customers, simple integration with existing internet platforms, works across devices and MNOs. Fairly common practice (no competitive advantage), takes a number of steps to log in, adaption to small screen not always done well.
Custom application Gaining significant traction in the developed world, used for mobile banking, coupons, location based services. Provides a rich user experience on a custom application, tends to be more secure and stable, retains loyalty and offers cross-selling opportunities. Integration issues as customization required for each device, must be installed by customer, can be more expensive to deploy.

Mobile payment technologies

NFC companion devices Enables contactless proximity payments at merchant POS terminals using a range of technologies such as stickers, fobs and microSD cards. Leverages existing contactless card standards, enables payments without MNO cooperation. Devices often limited to a single payment account, potentially high initiation complexity for user, requires distribution and device costs to be absorbed. 
Embedded NFC Uses a mobile wallet technology on an embedded NFC chip to broaden payment options within a proximity setting. Uses existing contactless card standards, enables access to multiple accounts via mobile wallet interfaces, provides some additional security with PIN on the handset. Limited availability of enabled handsets in the market, MNOs control handset inventory and distribution.
SMS text Remote payments, primarily for digital content. Ubiquitous capability available on the vast majority of handsets. Message length limited, high cost to both merchant and consumer, many jurisdictions do not allow SMS for mobile payments.
Voice A niche technology that provides mostly account servicing and bill payments, some mobile payment authorisation conducted via voice. Person to person interaction, opportunities for dynamic cross-selling. High cost in 'live agent' situations, inefficient data communications.

Share this

Share this

Learn more

We encourage you to contact your local KPMG member firm, or email to talk to one of our mobile banking specialists.

Download the PDF

The era of mobile banking and payments is dawning. Find out how mobile will change the way banks and their customers interact.