Mobile Commerce Standards—Essential, But Is It Too Late?

Mobile commerce is at the very beginning of a huge growth wave. But one problem is that retailers are tripping over each other trying to support a dozen other forms of mobile/consumer interactions inside their stores and via E-Commerce sites. Historically, this is the point when key industry players gather in hotel conference rooms and agree to standardize on key elements so that the industry can grow faster. But mobile standards efforts are frustrating business historians because they might seem like disruptive technology.

A year ago, the National Retail Federation (NRF) tried to put together a mobile standards effort. Retailers rejected the move, saying it was too early and they wouldn't even know what elements to insist on. Today, NRF efforts to push forward such an effort are moving along faster, but some retailers are now saying the opposite—that their own efforts have moved too far ahead to halt developments and wait for a standard to be accepted. Getting a handle on that standards whipsaw is the topic of StorefrontBacktalk's monthly retail payments column on S1's site.