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Jim McKelvey

Mobile Payments:  Seeing Around Corners

Jim McKelvey, co-founder of payments industry game changer, Square, shared with thoughts with the Card Forum and Expo team on what it'll take to get mobile payments working better.

McKelvey will be providing the Card Forum audience with a provocative discussion, Mobile Payments: Seeing Around Corners, diving into lessons that technologists, payments industry veterans and financial institutions can all use.

The presentation will be revealed in April, but here's a sneak peak of what he'll talk about.

Card Forum: Why do you think so many entrepreneurs have been developing ideas and technologies for consumer finance, and specifically for mobile payments?

McKelvey:  Mobile Payments will change the way people shop, there are a lot of things that need to be developed.

Mobile payments have been talked a lot about, but if you look at the payments ecosystem nothing has really happened to support it. In the current mobile ecosystem banks can't go at it alone. You once had a system where you had financial institutions issuing cards, and they set up merchants on the back end. But now you have to involve the carriers, the app makers, etc. There are just a lot more people involved these days. Although we can imagine what the system might look like. If you want to talk about innovation, you need to talk about it within the context of a different market structure.

Card Forum:  What innovations need to happen in mobile payments?

McKelvey:  There's been a critical missing component. Mobile phones don't work inside. GPS works great outdoors, but the accuracy degrades indoors because the walls degrade the signals. But, we're at the precipice of indoor location technology that does work. Bluetooth low energy and the PayPal Beacon device is just an example.

Card Forum:  Do you think we're experiencing some kind of startup bubble?

McKelvey:  It's not really a bubble until the assets get value, but there is certainly a lot of activity. I have my favorite examples of over-hyped companies, but in general there is still a lot of untapped opportunity in the market.

Card Forum:  For all those who are established payments companies in our audience what advice would you give them about staying competitive in the industry?

McKelvey:  Team up with a startup.