The app-pitching event underscores the excitement about emerging opportunities in mobile payment, and it “looks like a unique way for one company to generate ideas through crowd-sourcing and to build interest in mobile applications in general,” says Todd Ablowitz, president of Double Diamond Group LLC.

However, it is an unlikely forum for discovering a breakthrough application that will achieve widespread adoption, he says.

“We’re seeing an explosion of innovation in payments similar to what happened in the early days of the Internet, when all kinds of people developed prototypes of Web browsers and search engines, but only a few survived,” Ablowitz says.

Smartphone-based mobile-payment applications are certainly proliferating, “but the shakeout between apps and survivors will take years, and the winners are probably going to be big players and those that already have a big head start and existing reach to consumers,” he says.

It will be “10 years at minimum” before the average consumer can conduct all routine transactions via a smartphone, Ablowitz says.

American Banker, August 19, 2011
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