In an article titled "Investors Bet on Payments via Cellphone", Claire Cain Miller and Matt Richtel write for the New York Times about Obopay (and MasterCard's MoneySend launched last week with Obopay), Boku, Zong and PayPal.
[Editor's note: one facet of a couple of these services that the article's authors fail to note is the cost of payment acceptance - and how that cost varies from service to service. In some segments - such as virtual goods where merchants have a close to zero cost of goods sold - merchants can afford to pay a lot to gain widespread acceptance on cell phones. Other merchants, with real costs of goods sold, would find the costs of these approaches out of the question. There's a similar story when it comes to person-to-person money transfer. For domestic transfers in the US, there's a certain cost sensitivity. For international remittances involving currency conversion, on the other hand, there's a much greater opportunity to price for value. Need help understanding all of this? Drop us a note here!]