Verizon Tries Mobile Payments Solo

Verizon Wireless isn't waiting on its Isis venture to dive into mobile payments. The carrier announced Monday it's teaming up with payments processor Payfone to let consumers make online purchases from their mobile devices with direct carrier billing as one payment option.

The Payfone-powered service will let Verizon's customers pay with one click via a credit card for physical items or via Verizon's billing channels for digital goods like music or online books. The companies say they're focusing on simplicity, flexibility and security, including pre-authorization and authentication as part of the platform.

Verizon says the service will be complementary to the mobile payments offerings that spring from Isis, its joint venture with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), T-Mobile US Inc. , Barclays and Discover. The JV is working on building up the payments ecosystem before it launches and is reportedly in talks with Visa to bring Near-Field Communications (NFC)-enabled mobile payments to market in 2012.

Why this matters
With the level of interest in mobile payments and NFC at an all-time high, time to market is critical. That's especially true as Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is teaming up with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) to trial a Mobile Wallets service and just last week, Visa acquired South African startup Fundamo to build a mobile payments service in emerging markets.

Verizon's new service with Payfone doesn't get into NFC, but it shows that the carrier is serious about having a well-rounded mCommerce portfolio and isn't waiting on Isis to make a move.

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— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:02:12 PM
re: Verizon Tries Mobile Payments Solo

Seems to me that the operator who racks up the most partners in mCommerce is going to be the most successful. It has to be easy too -- just one PIN, one time...not every time with every different card.

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