Mobile Payment & Commerce

Work Team


The Mobile Payment & Commerce Observatory studies advanced payment systems, concentrating in particular on mobile payments - when a mobile phone can be used to make a payment - and mobile commerce - when mobile phones are used in one or more stage of the commercial process other than payment. The Observatory highlights the distinction between remote mobile payments and proximity mobile payments. “Remote” payments take place when there is “distance” between the costumer and the retailer (or the device belonging to the retailer), while “proximity” payments take place when the customer (or the customer’s mobile device) and the retailer (or the retailer’s device) are very close.


The Observatory’s work consists of:

  • field  research  involving the main players in the market: telcos, banks, financial institutions, payment processors, payment circuits, storekeepers, consumers, etc.
  • numerous  meetings and occasions for debate:
    • meetings in which research is planned, updated and a research series closed, and a convention with partners and sponsors;
    • specialist training meetings for our partners, sponsors and external (paying) stakeholders on topics requiring further training over and above information circulated among the main players. (The topics include comparisons between mobile mobility payment systems, advances in legislation and guidelines for the contract process for mobile wallets, the innovation routes spearheaded by start-ups: from mobile P2P to mobile POS;
    • workshops for interaction and discussion between partners, sponsor and other external stakeholders (debate between retailers, consumer user experience and mobile payment business models);
  • a  public convention  to present the main findings of our research, with round table sessions and talks given by major players from the business world;
  • a  paper report  containing the main findings of our research, which will be distributed during the convention;
  • several  online reports  on topics studied in our research.
  • a  weekly press review  for partners and sponsors that assembles the most important facts in the Italian and international market;


As a continuation of the research conducted over previous series, the Mobile Payment & Commerce Observatory will focus on 12 thematic areas.

  • Analysis of the offer  to recognise the structure of the value chain (involving players, functions, activities, etc.) and the underlying business models;
    • Comparison between Mobile Proximity Payment & Commerce chains:  analysis of SIM-based, cloud based and device-based NFC mobile proximity payment applications, with comparisons of the operational models and estimating revenue and costs associated to each model;
    • Mobile POS: monitorare l’evoluzione dell’offerta e le principali novità in ambito Mobile POS a livello nazionale e internazionale.
    • Mobile Wallet: analyse the mobile wallet offer in Italy and globally, studying the aspects of planning, design, user-experience and associated added-value services;
    • Mobile Identity:  study on the services promoted and implemented within the Italian public digital identity system - SPID - in terms of players involved, operational models and services, user experience and potential number of users that can be reached;
    • Mobile p2p e Instant Payment: analysis of active solutions at domestic and international level, with a comparison between the most interesting operational and service models;
  • Analysis of the Demand  to recognise the needs and the points of view of end users, as these can determine the diffusion of mobile payment & commerce;
    • Focus on Retailers: actively involve storekeepers to identify their needs and measure the value generated through mobile payment ∓ commerce solutions, specifically mobile wallets;
    • Focus on Consumers:  analyse consumer’s point of view, examining the level of interest and barriers to adopting mobile payment & commerce solutions;
    • Focus on Public Authorities:  identify and analyse the potential of mobile payment & commerce in this sector, and establish constructive dialogue with institutions;
  • Analysis of the Market and its Framework  to recognise how the mobile payment & commerce systems are developing in Italy and the world and the contextual elements that influence it;
    • Application Landscape in Italy and the world: study the most interesting and ground-breaking international cases, survey the main services in Italy, considering in particular the novelties in the start-up world and monitoring mobile proximity payment commercial launches in Italy from 2015 onwards;
    • Measure the transactions: estimate the current value of transactions and the forecast of growth over the next three years (mobile sales of goods, assets and digital material, mobile remote payments, mobile proximity payments, mobile POS, contactless payments)
    • Start-ups and trends in innovation: a poll on the main start-ups in the field of mobile payment & commerce and identify the trends in innovation at international level;
    • Legislation, Technology, Security and Privacy: monitor the evolution of the legislative framework and study the main technological implications concerning security and privacy. Focus on how to draft a contract and the various techniques for distance communication with costumers.


Infographics 1
Infographics 18.02.2016

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Mobile Payment & Commerce Observatory

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For further information, collaboration and support requests for the other researches of the Mobile Payment & Commerce Observatory, please contact Valeria Portale (valeria.portale@polimi.it) or Ivano Asaro (ivano.asaro@polimi.it).