Electronic Transactions Association Pushes for Mobile Payments Unity

The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), a trade group of providers of payment processing services to retailers, has launched a mobile payments (m-payments) committee, a task force of representatives from companies that includes all four major US wireless carriers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

Also represented are Google, Wells Fargo, Capital One, American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, as well as transaction processor First Data, hardware maker Panasonic and data management and fraud prevention vendor Neustar. All of the companies are members of the ETA.

Among the absentees is Square, which offers a m-payments application for small merchants and consumers, and last week signed a deal to process all of Starbuck’s credit and debit card transactions.

“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’s chief executive officer (CEO), Jason Oxman. “Our industry must work collaboratively to ensure that the regulatory and business environment promotes innovation and co-operation. Our m-payments committee will help ensure that consumers and merchants have access to an efficient, reliable and secure m-payments system.”

The committee is not setting standards directly but will aim to influence legislators and regulators on m-payment policy, raise awareness among consumers and retailers, and address the issue of the value chain and how the business relationships work between the various links.

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