NRF: FTC should move cautiously on mobile payments

WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation on Thursday urged the Federal Trade Commission to move cautiously in establishing regulations for mobile payments and said any rules that are adopted should parallel those for the underlying form of payment and not be specific to the technology.

"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," NRF SVP and general counsel Mallory Duncan said. "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."

According to Duncan, some of the best innovations on the Internet today might have been suspect a generation ago but today "are benefits few consumers would want to live without."

"Mobile might help retailers get to know their customers more like they knew their customers generations ago, and offer more personalized service," Duncan said, adding that federal officials need to address a number of issues including a definition of what constitutes a mobile payment.