The Vanishing Custom Electronics or Why We Invested in Mobeewave

This will be a short blog post, as I have already blogged before about my thinking regarding investing in mobile payments and the concept of “software defined anything“. In summary, I believe that we will have less and less specialised hardware devices for payments, and the ubiquitous mobile phone will become the default form factor for payments. If one loves carrying colourful banknotes, or cute pieces of plastic, they can all always satisfy their need with phone covers. But it does not makes business sense to spend money to subsidise (quickly becoming) obsolete forms of money representation.

We are announcing today our investment in Mobeewave, a company that has developed a mobile app that converts a smartphone into a mobile secure contactless POS terminal without any additional hardware. As long as “cards”, either plastic or emulated by a phone (see Apple Pay and Sequent for digital issuance solutions), will be in use, payment acceptance will continue to be a key factor in the industry development. While the number of NFC-enabled phones and contactless cards issued around the globe is rising substantially, mobile payment acceptance remains insufficient. In the US, for example, the ratio of issued contactless cards to contactless terminals is 600 to 1. No wonder only 10% of ApplePay customers have reported using it in the first month of availability.

Mobeewave is uniquely positioned to help this market explode through its technology that will allow merchants to securely accept payment just by downloading a mobile application. There is no additional hardware, no complex logistics, just download an app, signup for the service and start accepting payments right away.

The integrated contactless mPOS technology takes full advantage of development in both the mPOS and the NFC world. It brings all the benefits of the mPOS: no dedicated device and installation fees, low infrastructure costs for payment processing , and low logistics costs compared to traditional POS. The merchant can choose the mobile device he wants and accept payment with it.

The technology also smartly inherits the work done for the NFC wallet ecosystem: hardware and software development, ecosystem stakeholders alignment, standardization, pilots, deployment — as it relies on the same pillars, an NFC mPOS does not require any changes to the ecosystem.

We believe that Mobeewave NFC mPOS is a game changer — with this technology, millions of potential contactless mPOS will be in the field, allowing merchants and payment service providers to process more and more transactions.