Mobile payments are coming of age, with consumers increasingly using a wide array of electronic devices – smartphones, tablets, wristwatches and other wearables – to make faster, more convenient and safer transactions.
The launch of Apple Pay last autumn has transformed mobile payments with a secure and seamless way to make purchases. As near field communication (NFC) and EMV capabilities become more widely established. Apple Pay demonstrates that mobile payments are not just changing how consumers make a purchase but their entire shopping experience.
Mobile technology is opening up endless possibilities for faster, easier, and more rewarding transactions. Among them: ordering and paying for a taxicab; having popcorn brought to your seat at the movie theater; ordering and paying for your child’s school lunch; or sending money to a friend through a “peer-to-peer” mobile app. Mobile apps will continue to develop new functions that will eventually render the physical wallet obsolete.
MasterCard has been a pioneer of mobile commerce innovation for years – including developing the world’s first contactless and mobile payment solutions. MasterCard’s end goal has always been to make payments as seamless as possible. Take MasterPass for example, a digital service that allows consumers to use any payment card or enabled device to buy with a simple click, tap or touch – online, in –store, anywhere. Since its unveiling at 2013’s Mobile World Congress, MasterPass has launched in 16 countries and counting.
Enabled devices don’t stop at mobile, and the increased proliferation of contactless technology will require the same innovations in security. MasterCard has been working with Bionym to pilot a program of wearable devices that will authenticate payments. Participating card-issuing banks will insert NFC technology into Bionym’s Nymi wristbands, which measure the band wearer’s unique heartbeat to verify that he or she is the real card holder. If successful, this trial could become a future alternative to fingerprint reading technologies.
Regardless of the device used, mobile technology will be key to extending financial services to the billions of people around the world who currently lack access to the most basic financial tools. A mobile phone can provide access to financial products such as payments, lending, and long-term savings/investments and insurance.
These are just a few ways in which mobile technology is altering the way the world saves and spends money. It’s just the start of the transformation we’re seeing in the way we conduct our daily transactions, promising less of an evolution, more of a revolution.
This first appeared in GTNews on 25 March 2015.