By Daryl Colwell | @DHColwell | VP, Business Development
Thursday’s Financial Times has an excellent analysis piece by Richard Waters, the paper’s West Coast managing editor, on the nascent mobile payments industry. “Are smartphones about to swallow the payments business,” he asks as he moves on to dissect an industry valued by the Yankee Group at $162 billion in 2010, the last year of available data.
The piece centers around the eye-popping investments in, and growth of, mobile payment startup Square, now valued at $3.25 billion after it raised more than $200 million in a new round of financing.
Waters examines Square within the prism of its larger and more established comrade in the Silicon Valley tech ecosystem — Apple and its new Passbook digital wallet platform, launched this week. Waters rightly points out that however awe-inspiring most Apple products tend to be, a key component is missing from Passbook: a way to make a payment. “Apple’s bet is that consumers still prefer to pay with a card or hard cash,” he writes. (more…)