The Future Of Payments: Smartphones, Retailers, And ConsumersSource: SecureNet
By Tracy Metzger, executive VP, SecureNet Payment Systems
It seems like you cannot go a day without some passing mention of the smartphone and the future of payments. There are so many different ways to approach the subject but, for me, the most intriguing is the evolvement of the smartphone to be used as a form of payment.
Over the past year, we have seen the launch of a number of consumer-based products to drive this initiative. Starbucks has successfully rolled out a program allowing their customers to preload values on their Smartphone and then use it a form of convenient payment at the register. They claim that $100 million-plus dollars have been loaded via their smartphone apps this year. Other initiatives, such as the Google Wallet and ISIS mobile applications, are emerging as well. These technologies leverage Near Field Communication (NFC) technology that manufacturers of smartphones are embedding in their new devices.
Both Google and ISIS link your existing credit cards to the NFC chip embedded in your smartphone. They are also collaborating with retailers and restaurants to incent the consumer usage via deals and discounts for using these products at the point-of-sale (POS) to drive more greater acceptance and frequency of use. This is a solid philosophy, but the real question is, "Where can I use this technology?" Without mass acceptance of this technology from the merchant then, how can this initiative actually become mainstream?