Mallory Duncan, NRF's senior VP and general counsel, said mobile payments are in their infancy and the FTC should not rush to establish privacy rules until it's known what the industry will become. She added that a smartphone is a "just a device, not a payment," and that actual payments could take place via a credit or debit card, directly from a bank account, a user's phone bill or via other means.
"Mobile technology and processes are just beginning to emerge and we won't know which practices the public will like or what methods will provide new benefits until the technology begins to coalesce," said Duncan. "The government should not impose regulations that would forestall yet-to-be-imagined advances and innovation in order to avoid potential 'harm' based largely on speculation."
Duncan is expected to reinforce her viewpoints during an FTC workshop on mobile payments today titled "Paper, Plastic…Or Mobile?"
"Some of the best innovations on the Internet today might have been suspect a generation ago, but today they are benefits few consumers would want to live without," Duncan said. "The public very often embraces change as the future becomes now."
NRF is the world's largest retail trade association.