Adobe’s decision to ditch Flash Player for new mobile device configurations in favor of HTML5 drew all kinds of headlines yesterday.
A move that didn’t get quite as much press, announced in a press release at 10 a.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, was from mopay, saying its mobile payments platform had been upgraded to provide extended support for HTML5 services and games.
Kolja Reiss, managing director at mopay, says it was a pure coincidence – Adobe’s decision wasn’t plastered all over the web when mopay released its news. But he understands why Adobe did it. A lot of folks remember Steve Jobs’ manifesto blasting Flash over a year ago.
It was sometime after that when mopay went to work developing its platform for HTML5. The reasoning was something like this: If iDevices (iOS) weren’t going to support Flash, then their efforts with Flash, which never was fully optimized for mobile, were wasted.
The company intended to be platform agnostic to allow for as many merchants as possible, but on the back end, integrating with Flash also was a painful process, he says.
Mopay provides direct carrier billing solutions, allowing online merchants’ customers to buy goods and have them billed to their cell phone bill. Consumers are usually presented with several payment options, one of which is mopay. It’s got relationships with the top four biggest U.S. wireless carriers and about 383 carriers worldwide. It competes with the likes of BOKU, Zong/PayPal and BilltoMobile.
Reiss says he believes mopay is the first to go commercial with an HTML5 mobile commerce solution, although he admits he can’t know for sure what the competition is doing. However, based on inquiries from merchants and customers, he believes mopay will have a leg up on the competition for the foreseeable future.
While mopay’s timing about HTML5 was coincidental with Adobe’s big news, Reiss says he wasn’t really surprised. HTML5 is all about the user experience, which means a better experience on the phone for commerce. “I think it’s the right move and it will be good for any website out there,” he says. “It will be good for merchants … It will drive adoption of HTML5.”