The mobile payments bubble is about to burst

I honestly believe that within 20 years we'll all be paying with mobile. In fact, we'll probably have transcended mobile and entered some kind of payments Nirvana where we just walk into a shop, pick up our goods and walk out and the payment just happens…somehow. This is, after all, the ultimate goal of Jack Dorsey and his company Square and I think eventually they, or someone else, will make it happen, writes Billy Bambrough

I honestly believe that within 20 years we’ll all be paying with mobile. In fact, we’ll probably have transcended mobile and entered some kind of payments Nirvana where we just walk into a shop, pick up our goods and walk out and the payment just happens…somehow. This is, after all, the ultimate goal of Jack Dorsey and his company Square and I think eventually they, or someone else, will make it happen, writes Billy Bambrough

I wanted to establish this to demonstrate I am not a payments luddite, desperately hanging on to idea that little bits of paper are an efficient and sensible way to pay. But at the moment we are teetering on the edge of a payments bubble not unlike the dotcom bubble of the early 00’s.

The investment is there. The companies are there. The talk is there. The demand, the infrastructure, and the technology are not there.The latest mobile payments venture, Weve, announced today it would be joining with MasterCard to try and tempt people away from their recently discovered contactless cards and the old stand-by, cash, in an effort to convince people of the benefits of mobile payments.

To do so, we will see a raft of offers designed to entice both retailers and consumers that paying by mobile is worthwhile. And this is where the argument for, because without offers and discounts paying with your phone is just not worth the hassle.

I cannot depend on my mobile to pay. I can barely depend on it to phone people as it regularly runs out of battery. If I had the NFC switched on for a few hours a day it would be out of commission even more often.

Until it is the only way to pay, I don’t want to have think about which way I can pay at the till. Should I pay with my phone or my card? These are the kind of decisions that people don’t want to have to make. Payment is not something people enjoy or want to take time over. It should happen quickly and seamlessly and at the moment mobile payments is anything but.