Monday, October 7, 2013

Co-opetition and cashlessness: Why we need redundant infrastructures

By IMTFI Director Bill Maurer

I have been using cash this weekend. Exclusively. On Thursday, my credit card was skimmed at a neighborhood gas station. Within 9 hours, the thief had charged up over US$800 at stores and gas stations all over Los Angeles. By looking at charge times and locations, you could almost imagine him or her on the freeway, driving from store to store, seeing how far and for how long my card would go. The experience taught me an important lesson: even in my relatively cashless life, it’s a good thing I have options. I have options because of redundant infrastructures. And I have access to redundant infrastructures because the payments industry in the developed world has relied on co-opetition—cooperative competition that ensured the rapid growth of the card networks and other payment providers. There’s a lesson here for telcos getting into the business of mobile money.

Read the rest of this post at the GSMA MMU Blog.

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