Financial instruments such as credit cards, pay day loans, loans on car titles, loans on income tax refunds, and subprime mortgages have led to a profound shift in consumers' self-understandings as financial decision makers.
Retailers seem so staunchly committed to transact business the same way they have for decades: a large (expensive) central cash register accepting cash, checks or credit/debit cards only. This is all about to change -- and, in fact, quietly has been right under our noses.
You may have seen it. You're standing in line at McDonald's, Starbucks, Home Depot or a local store, and the person in front of you waives her phone at checkout then walks out with her stuff. No cash, no card, just a waving phone.
Over the next five years paying with your phone will become as commonplace as paying with cash, which is why every man, his bank and his phone company are in the battle to win the mobile wallet space. So who's going to win?
Customers have already decided they want their mobile device to be their bank. They've already decided that they want to discuss your brand and your service capability in the open community of social media.
More than half of citizens of the developing world are cell phone subscribers, reports the U.N. These are people who could have access to financial services for the first time thanks to mobile payments.