Despite on-going efforts over the past decade, mobile payments are yet to take off successfully. Repeated failures show that mobile payment platforms are complex to launch. The objective of this paper is to unveil factors explaining the failure of past mobile payment platforms. The use of a multi-level framework aims at enriching the variety of issues investigated. In order to explore the reasons of failure, we selected four cases from different countries happening at different times. Our results show that these cases share many of the same failure factors: lack of collaboration between the stakeholders, no technology standard, and low value-added for consumers and merchants compared to existing payment solutions. Even though the list is not exhaustive, the uncovered factors in our study seem to be necessary (but not sufficient) for the further developments of mobile payment platforms.