By kateoflaherty, Apr 29 2014 02:12PM
The PR machine behind mobile payments is once more grinding with the launch of Paym, a service that allows users to transfer money via their smartphone.
This is intended to be a gateway to the Holy Grail - a cashless society where consumers pay for everything using the device they carry everywhere, their mobile phone.
The move is part of an unrelenting cycle. From NFC through to Bluetooth, mobile payment technology has tried and failed before. Contactless payment cards were intended to open the door for NFC but years later phones still aren't being used for transactions.
Numerous alliances have been set up over the years and gradually fizzled out. Apple is said to have held things back by not including NFC on its devices, despite ongoing predictions that the market is about to take off.
Perhaps Paym will be the technology to break this ongoing cycle. The banks, of course, are on board too, with Bank of Scotland, Barclays, Cumberland Building Society, Danke Bank, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds, Santander, and TSB already signed up. Other banks and building societies - namely Natwest - have committed to join Paym later in 2014.
But in reality, the Paym service is simply an extension of the mobile banking app; it's hardly revolutionary. For mobile payments to really take off, a technology needs to be found that consumers understand and are compelled to use. It could be Paym, it could be an Apple NFC phone. But one thing is certain: until that happens, the so-called "mobile wallet" is unlikely to become mainstream.