Mobile Payments Verizon and AT&T Join Venture Appoints Head

The tow largest mobile carriers in the United States, Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc, have apparently hired Michael J. Abbott a former exec of General Electric Co, to head a join venture which will lead to customers being able to pay for purchases via their mobile phone.

According to an article over on Bloomberg, the appointment of Abbott comes via a person with “direct knowledge of the matter,” Abbot was formerly General Electric’s chief marketing officer of retail consumer finance business.

Apparently an announcement of Abbott’s appointment as CEO of the new mobile payments company may be made later today, and the person close to the matter has said that T-Mobile USA is a partner although plans have not yet been made public.

The word is also that Verizon and AT&T are working with Discover Financial Services along with Barclays PLC to enable customers to pay retailers via their smartphone which could well succeed debit and credit cards and that could be seen as a threat to American Express, Mastercard, and Visa.

Payments-industry consulting firm Philliou Selwanes Partners, Philip Philliou has said that Abbott’s appointment “should definitely cause MasterCard and Visa to take this initiative very seriously. You have someone who understands consumer payments, as opposed to this being someone from the telecom industry.”

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