Don’t you just dread waiting in line to get something as small as a box of Tic Tacs? How about having to cross the city just to sign a paper? Bureaucracy is still alive and kicking in 2015, despite technology lending a huge helping hand in virtually every field. But there’s one area that is seeing some much needed improvement: payments. And it’s all thanks to the cloud and mobility joining forces.
4PSA is a huge mobility advocate. We develop software that not only takes advantage of mobile devices, but actually spurs their adoption as tools for the workplace – to get things done in a convenient and timely fashion.
iPhone-maker Apple Inc. saw a different opportunity in mobility. One of the company’s most ambitious efforts in recent times, Apple Pay was built on the very foundation of mobility. You just swipe your device at the register and off you go. No more pulling out your wallet to see your Burger King coupons fall out. Just swipe and go!
Mobility = Convenience
Contactless payment systems can be anything from credit cards to smartphones with radio-frequency identification (RFID) or near field communication (NFC) technology embedded in them. In phones, all it takes is some extra copper wire and a tiny chip.
According to a new study by Juniper Research, contactless payments are projected to reach 200 million users by the end of 2016, a growth rate of 100% from the end of 2014. The reason? Everyone with the means to replicate Apple’s success wants a slice of the pie, and retailers are happy to oblige. The research – Mobile Wallets: Contactless & Remote Payments 2015-2020 – found that banks everywhere are partnering with Visa and MasterCard to implement their own contactless wallets using a cloud-based secure element.
Timing isn’t everything
There are other early birds as well – wireless operators. However, their approach doesn’t seem to be bearing fruit. According to the Juniper press release, “Wallets run by mobile operator consortia continue to fare badly, with the UK’s Weve dropping its planned wallet, and Softcard folding in the US.” The report further notes that the MCX (Merchant Customer Exchange) Consortium has pushed back the launch of its own offering, as retailers begin to cozy up to Apple’s solution, as well as to Samsung Pay, and the forthcoming Android Pay.
“…the Consortium has not agreed terms with any leading card holders, citing the high transaction fees as a stumbling block,” the release states.
In other words, the stronger your grip on the service, the harder it becomes to sell it. Customers are smart. They want to be in control, and they demand security, convenience, and a financially sound service with no hidden caveats. “Contactless” leverages mobility in ways that few other applications can. It’s fast, reliable and above all, convenient. We shouldn’t have to pay top dollar for these benefits. It’s common sense to have them, just like mobility itself.