Mobile World Congress 2013: What’s in Your Wallet?

By: eBay Inc. Staff

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PayPal’s Patrick Gauthier said Wednesday in a Mobile World Congress panel session that eBay Inc. was creating a world of connected commerce that sidestepped any labels.

“The terminology is obsolete,” said Gauthier, who currently serves as PayPal’s head of product strategy and business operations in retail services. ”Is it commerce or mobile commerce? Who cares? The future is about  connected commerce and making it easy for people to transact in multiple locations.”

Gauthier added that PayPal has over 123 million users already, and much of the company’s growth was due to its early investment in mobile. He also agreed with fellow panelists from MasterCard and Visa that in a connected world, there will be less focus on transaction fees.

As James Anderson, the group head of converged product development, emerging payments at MasterCard said, fees are inevitable, because there is a high cost to merchants if customers are unable to pay. He noted that in India, MasterCard has over 100 million issued cards, but oftentimes, cardholders used the cards to draw cash to pay merchants.

“If we can enable these merchants with cost-effective solutions,” he said, “then we can help grow the merchant’s business overall.”

“Because so many services are being digitalized, you need electronic payments to make them function,” added Brad Greene, senior business leader of mobile products at Visa. “The value of payments to commerse is only increasing.”

The panel ended on a back and forth about the future of near-field communications (NFC), which the panelists disagreed on (the credit card companies were in support, PayPal doesn’t think it’s the right solution), and the importance of growing mobile payments and services in underdeveloped counties.