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The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) announced that it has formed what they are calling the Mobile Payments Committee -- a group of companies working together to create common standards and advance the current mobile payment situation in the U.S. Notable partners include AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, as well as other industry partners like Google and ISIS

While the companies are all focusing on competing products, they realize the benefit that comes with getting merchants on board working with regulators to get some standard rules in place. According to ETA CEO Jason Oxman, "The idea behind the committee is to get all the players around the table, ask everyone to take off their company hats and put on their industry hats, and talk about what issues need to be resolved."

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We agree. In the end only the companies who can offer what consumers want in a safe and easy to use way will survive, so it's important to get all the rules and standards put in place while the technology is still in the early stages. We don't see any of the participants willing to drop their offerings in favor of another, but hopefully a set of common goals can be used to get mobile payment technology into the public's hands where the best product can win. Waiting until one or more of the partners have pulled ahead will only make it harder to adopt legislation that's fair to all parties.

The Mobile Payment Committee will hold its first meeting in late August, with regular monthly meetings to follow. We've been crowing for some standardization for a while now, so we think this is great news. The full press release is after the break.

Via  MobileBurn

ETA Launches Committee To Guide Emerging Mobile Payments Industry

Mobile Payments Committee Will Include All Four Major Mobile Network Operators and
Develop and Implement Industry-Wide Solutions for Mobile Payments

WASHINGTON, DC ─ The Electronic Transactions Association, the trade association of the global
electronic payments industry, today launched its new Mobile Payments Committee, an industry-wide
task force of representatives from top companies in the innovative market of mobile payments, including
all four major mobile network operators – AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. The Mobile Payments
Committee will develop and implement industry-wide solutions to the complex policy and business
issues surrounding the emergence of mobile payments in the U.S and globally.

“Mobile payments represent a game-changing business opportunity for our industry, and ETA’s mission
is to help our member companies succeed in this business,” said ETA Chief Executive Officer Jason
Oxman. “Our industry must work collaboratively to ensure that the regulatory and business environment
promotes innovation and cooperation. As the trade association of the payments industry, ETA is the hub
of activity in mobile payments, and our Mobile Payments Committee will help ensure that consumers
and merchants have access to an efficient, reliable and secure mobile payments system.”

The Mobile Payments Committee is chaired by Jackie Moran, Executive Director of Federal Relations
for Verizon, and includes representatives from ETA member companies engaged in all aspects of
mobile commerce, including credit card networks, processors, mobile network operators, developers,
financial institutions and device manufacturers. ETA also announced today that all four of the nation’s
major mobile network operators – AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon – have become ETA member
companies and will participate in the Mobile Payments Committee.

“As a nascent industry, the mobile payments market is just beginning to realize its full potential as a
robust enabler of global electronic commerce,” said Moran. “The Mobile Payments Committee is
designed to ensure that the early stages of mobile payments are handled in the best possible way: With
insight and ingenuity from all the players – private as well as public sector -- involved in the exciting
future of mobile payments.”

Other ETA member companies participating in the Mobile Payments Committee include Google, Isis,
Verizon, Wells Fargo, Capital One, American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, VeriFone,
Intuit, First Data, Panasonic and Neustar. The Mobile Payments Committee will address several issues
facing the future of mobile payments, including:

  • the business relationships needed to foster innovation and achieve network interoperability among merchants, credit card companies, mobile networks, equipment operators, equipment manufacturers and financial institutions;
  •  exploring the necessity of “best practices” that ensure merchants and consumers have access to the most innovative and effective mobile payments solutions;
  •  the education of legislators and regulators developing public policy around mobile payments; and
  • the education of merchants and consumers about the potential of mobile payments to provide a more efficient, reliable and secure experience at the point of purchase. 

ETA’s Mobile Payments Committee will hold its first meeting in late August and hold regular monthly
meetings thereafter. The Committee will frequently update companies engaged in the mobile payments
industry as well as policymakers on relevant proposals and solutions. While these proposals will remain
voluntary, the Mobile Payments Committee will work with member companies to implement them in a
comprehensive manner to ensure that the new field of mobile payments provides consumers and
merchants with the best, most reliable, and most secure system.