A significant contribution to the m-money debate has been made by Chanuka Wattegama, until last month LIRNEasia’s Senior Research Manager and the person responsible for managing the Mobile 2.0 research module. The tightly argued piece contains many references to LIRNEasia work and is a perfect example of the success of LIRNEasia’s catalytic role. Worth reading in full by anyone interested in the subject.
Ours is an anxious society that expects the protection of every electronic money transfer by the financial regulator. This is not possible and should not be attempted. Central banks cannot and should not play the role of police and courts. Attempting to do so, as illustrated above is to curtail the developments in the payment systems. M-payment, like any other payment method, is not 10% risk-free and it will never be. There is no point trying to make it that way too. It is always a compromise between security and efficiency. Any attempt to overly improve one, is to compromise on the other.
Mobile culture inherently loves more freedom and less regulation. Any regulations should fit somewhere within that framework. It might even mean shifting our age old paradigms. If not, the result will only be a highly secure system that nobody uses. I do not think it is what we look for.