Fiserv, Inc. recently released the results of a survey suggesting banks are taking a “wait and see” approach to mobile payments. Fiserv commissioned and Forrester Consulting conducted the survey of 15 large U.S. banks, which found that most of the banks offered mobile banking services allowing customers to make transfers between accounts, find an ATM, and pay bills online. Only one of the banks offered mobile banking for purposes of person-to-person payments and none offered mobile banking for making brokerage trades. The survey found that all of the banks had clear mobile banking strategies but few had a defined strategy for mobile payments, including point-of-sale or contactless payments and person-to-person payments.

The law governing mobile payments is a complex blend of existing laws including the Electronic Fund Transfer Act and Gramm-Leach-Bliley as well as rapidly-changing state laws. In deploying mobile payment technologies, depository institutions should carefully analyze and address all of the relevant authorities.