In a small, but growing number of nations the mobile phone has evolved from a simple personal communications device to become both a platform for commerce and an indispensable part of a “lifestyle infrastructure” that enhances personal productivity, manages financial transactions, and makes life far more convenient and efficient. Indeed, around the world, consumers can use mobile phones as electronic wallets to pay for public transit, to check in at airline gates, and to make purchases from merchants, kiosks, and vendors. But not in the United States, which lags behind world leaders in leveraging the mobile phone as a platform to effect commercial transactions. The result is lagging productivity and reduced convenience for America and Americans.
In the report Explaining International Mobile Payments Leadership, ITIF identifies the leading nations in mobile payments, explains why the United States lags so far behind, and offers a set of policy recommendations for how the federal government can take steps to speed the arrival and adoption of more sophisticated forms of mobile commerce transactions, better leveraging these increasingly powerful mobile communications devices.