CorFire and InComm to offer white label NFC mobile wallet
Posted by Seth PlanckJune 24th, 2011 at 1:33 PM Filed Under Latest News
CorFire and InComm to offer white label NFC mobile wallet to compete with Google Wallet and the Isis joint venture
Google Wallet has another competitor on the horizon as CorFire and InComm get together to offer a white label NFC mobile wallet service. The partnership will introduce technology that allows shoppers to get coupons and pay for purchases using their mobile phones. The partnership will allow merchants to issue white label NFC mobile wallet applications containing prepaid gift and bank cards and coupons under the retailers own brand (think a Target app that handles purchases and discounts). The model works by allowing customers to download the apps from the web, straight on to their NFC-enabled phone and use that app to pay at the register.
SK C&C USA is an Atlanta based distributor and processor of prepaid cards who owns a mobile-commerce subsidiary called CorFire. Its new partner InComm has operations in 225,000 stores including BestBuy and Walmart.
“If merchants don’t develop their own wallet, they’ll always be beholden to Google to reach their customers,” said Richard Crone, who heads Crone Consulting LLC, speaking about white label NFC mobile wallet
Speaking about where the company sees its differential and opportunity Keith Smith, CorFire’s President said, “We’ve come forward and said, ‘Someone’s forgotten about the merchant.” Whereas Dustin Young, who heads up product strategy for InComm said, “We believe that consumers will gravitate toward merchants’ wallets because they will offer value above and beyond what others offer,” which is a gamble the companies are taking betting on consumers preferring retailers white label NFC mobile wallet rather than picking a mobile wallet that fits consumers’ needs and then using it at retailers. Nick Holland, a senior analyst with consulting firm Yankee Group, agrees and said to Bloomberg, “Clearly, these wallets are encroaching on each other’s territory,” in a telephone interview.
Costs to merchants to use CorFire and InComm’s white label NFC mobile wallet are unknown at the moment but Keith Smith did say, “We are in conversations with several major retailers in the country,” Young added, “We are not looking to add cost to the system.”
Taking the marketing out of the white label NFC mobile wallet by creating a wholesale business rather than a direct consumer approach
Both Google Wallet and the proposed Isis mobile wallet focus on branding themselves as the provider of the mobile wallet service, whereas the new partnership between SK C&C USA (the U.S. arm of the Korean SK C&C) and InComm are taking the opposite approach by not trying to win the hearts and minds of consumers to ensure success of their offerings, and instead leaving the marketing and educational portion of the business model to its merchant customers. In a sense, CorFire and InComm are allowing Google and Isis to pave the way for them in terms of marketing dollars to build demand for the mobile wallet products in the marketplace and are ducking in to offer its white label NFC mobile wallet directly to retailers, allowing them to completely brand the product as they wish. So the fight to come between the two models will revolve around what garners most support from consumers, the mobile wallet itself, or the brand of individual wallets. There may be room for both models in the industry but retailers will have to plan to accept both third-party mobile wallets and their own offerings also.
PayPal is also offering white label NFC mobile wallet
CorFire and InComm may be taking aim at Google Wallet and the Isis joint venture with their white label NFC mobile wallet, but they have competition that more closely competes with their particular business model, which is PayPal. PayPal has already shown they can successfully offer a white label NFC mobile wallet as seen by the work it did in the UK with Pizza Express. What is clear is that both PayPal and CorFire and Incomm will be both attempting to woo large retailers with their competing white label NFC mobile wallet services, and that is where we see the true competitive area for this venture, rather than Google or Isis who are more interested in the revenue that comes from offering coupons and offers and whose business model is B2C (business to consumer) rather than B2B (business to business).
Fragmenting market inevitable with white label NFC mobile wallet added to options for retailers
The market for mobile wallets appears to be fragmenting and it will be the companies who can best drive home their value to end users that will win dominance. CorFire and InComm have chosen retailers as their customers for their white label NFC mobile wallet products. Only time will tell which approach hits home with consumers, as at this point it is all speculation.