Tuesday, May 5, 2009

CTST2009 - Conspicuous by their absence

I am at New Orleans attending CTST Americas 2009, the annual conference of the Smart Card Alliance. The Smart Card Alliance is an industry consortium of participants in the smart card industry, such as, smart card vendors, personalization equipment vendors, personalization bureaus, banks, processors, payment brands, standards bodies... The industries active in this alliance are Payments and Identity.

Notable topics discussed today, the first day of the conference, included government regulations, identity theft/fraud and privacy. As can be expected, mobile phones are impacting this group, especially in the payments space.

Throughout the conference, a track of sessions has been dedicated to mobile payments. The mobile payments sessions discuss usage scenarios, security, privacy, business models, results from pilot deployments, steps necessary to go commercial by learning from pilots, how the smart card and payments industry will work with the Mobile Network Operators (MNO), primarily from a business model perspective (sharing revenues)...

However, conspicuous by their absence were the MNOs themselves. MNOs were not speaking at any session. Other than one MNO, they were not even attending the conference. From their perspective, this forum does not even exist!

Correction: GSMA participated in one session on Day 2, which by proxy, implies all operators were present?

A few of the mobile handset vendors were present, only in the margins.

Does this mean that the MNOs are going to dictate terms? Are there other forums/fora where these public discussions are taking place. What does this say about the Smart Card Alliance and the CTST Americas conference? Would Cartes Americas replacing CTST help?

What are your thoughts? If you have any feedback, I'll try to get you answers while I am at the conference.

Cinco de Mayo greetings to all!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Manju, Cartes Americas is an idea I also heard mulled around and it makes sense to me.