The trade group Electronic Transactions Association today announced that the four major US cellular carriers, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, are all joining the ETA to make carrier payments compatible with each other. It may bring offerings like Sprint’s Google Wallet and Isis (a union between several carriers), as well as PayPal, Verifone, and Intuit under a unified mobile payments agreement.
Chaired by Jackie Moran, Verizon’s executive director of federal relations, the committee will serve as a way to develop policy and business strategy for the mobile payments industry, says Venture Beat.
Among the issues the committee is tackling, it will help participants figure out the complex business relationships necessary to make mobile payment options interoperable; help legislators and regulators understand how to develop mobile payments public policy; and educate consumers and merchants about the benefits of mobile payments.
One company noticeably absent from the ETA’s roster, as well as the Mobile Payments Committee, is Square. Square recently partnered with Starbucks for mobile payments and Starbucks will invest $25 million in Square as part of the company’s Series D financing round.
“There are a lot of different pathways to enable consumers to use mobile payments,” ETA CEO Jason Oxman told VentureBeat. “The idea behind the committee is to get all the players around the table, ask everyone to take off their company hats and put on their industry hats, and talk about what issues need to be resolved.”
With the competing standards, hardware, and goals in the mobile industry, it makes sense for the industry to come together to figure out broader solutions, according to Venture Beat. Convincing consumers that they should use mobile payments may be the biggest challenge.
The committee will meet for the first time later this month, the ETA says.