Editor’s note: As Uber, Airbnb, Lyft and other startups in the sharing economy continue to grow, their success is driving growth in mobile payment technology so consumers can take advantage of “sharing” opportunities. So believes an expert in the field at the Warwick Business School. Consulting firm PwC forecasts the sharing economy will grow to $335 billion by 2025 from $13 billion in 2013.

Pinar Ozcan, Associate Professor of Strategic Management at Warwick Business School, was a speaker at the WBS PayTech Conference taking place Thursday and today in London.

“Many of these sharing platforms use mobile payment technology and so their growth will encourage the growth of PayTech in this area.

“These platforms encourage business at an individual level, rather than going through companies. Calling for a taxi through Uber or booking a room on Airbnb or even finding the nearest car repair shop all involves apps. They are doing business from peer to peer and bypassing companies and it is all done through mobile payment technology.

“This all happens on the mobile phone, it is the device where you book all these things, and the app allows you to send a payment with one click,” Ozcan said in commentary provided by WBS.

“Paypal, Apple Pay and Google Wallet have stolen an early march, certainly in the US and Europe, but there are many smaller players with great innovative products in the sector, as we are finding out at the conference.”

Warwick notes that Ozcan’s research has found that while they recently became quite popular, mobile payments, particularly NFC-based ones, were delayed in the West for 15 years due to squabbling egos of banks and technology firms.

“It has been recognized since the early 2000s that Near Field Communication (NFC) such as deployed by Apple Pay was the preferred choice of technology to get the mobile payment industry rolling.

“But mobile operators needed access to bank accounts, while banks, in turn, needed mobile operators because the user’s bank information and the payment software needed to be integrated into the mobile service of the user. But wrangling over who dealt with – and essentially owned – the consumer resulted in it being delayed.”

Apple Pay is re-igniting opportunities for others, such as Google Wallet, he notes.

“Now that Apple has joined them, the fact that two big technology players are backing the payments system on their devices will certainly help with more widespread adoption issues.

“One interesting difference between Apple Pay and Google Wallet, though, is that Apple won’t have any access to information about what users buy or how much they paid. Google, on the other hand, ‘sees’ every transaction that a user makes.

“One thing that Apple has done right is to use its reputation as a top technology firm and platform provider to strike deals with the industry leaders in banking and mobile communications to finally get them to co-operate. When a company like Apple gets behind a technology, nobody wants to miss that boat.”

(Note: Pinar Ozcan is one of the speakers at the WBS Paytech Conference being held at WBS London on February 4 and 5.)

Conference information: