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As predicted, the “mobile app” will become the next generation “Credit Card”. It is like what the CD did to LP’s ( completely change the game), the mobile app gives not only the opportunities of what we lived with plastic, but loyality, offers, alerts, location-based-marketing and a whole lot more. Starbucks is a major early adapter of this service and their approach to drive mCommerse with this application will be a leading first of the “game-changers” of the industry.
Even though they are using their own proprietary technology to do this, it shows the power of mobile in our daily lives and convenience. We can expect fragmentation as the alliance with the mobile operators has been late to the game. Google is driving their own NFC initiatives along with Apple and a variety of others. 2011 will be a showdown in this area of applications as the replacement to plastic.