What comes to your mind when you think of the future of electronic payments?
Would you use your phone /nfc card/mobile wallet/ or something else?
What are the key parameters when you dream about the future?
a) Behavior – How does the typical user behave?
b) Convenience –One less device to charge and one less password to remember?
c) Universal – Works across merchants, terminals, countries and continents?
When it comes to retail banking today, Banks are constantly trying to match consumer needs by either predicting their behavior or keeping up with what the competition has to offer. It’s a race you need to "participate" to be relevant to the consumer.
Mobile phones with NFC, Cards with smart chips etc cutting edge products continue to be churned out on a monthly basis but adoption and application is not really clear.
Companies in 2014 will get into a race of the wearable devices fit bands, Smart watches, Google Glass, Intelligent gloves. All trying to get their technology marketed, sold and then get the community to find an application.
Where does this leave the users? Many of these products will get lost or just plain go unnoticed in the innovation cloud lacking adoption by both institutions as well as consumers.
Retail payments challenges continue to exist:
Technology Challenge: Maturity of a universally acceptable technology on the acquiring side both for the merchants as well as for the consumers. Something that is simple and inexpensive to rollout and convenient to use.
Geographic challenge: Countries will continue to exist (and grow) currencies will get re-defined but remain relevant but there is no. With amount of migration and transit that is happening this becomes very relevant - tourists, business, education. it is
not possible to globally validate an individual users credit worthiness without linking them to a Bank accounr or Card no or another Token.
One possible future outcome:
Someone somewhere is hopefully working on the simplest of methods to authenticate and authorize our transactions and that has to be purely based on our biometrics - retina, fingerprints, voice signature, facial recognition and most important of them all
DNA fingerprinting are all available and evolving.
What needs to happen is that this becomes commoditized get introduced and adopted for retail payments through technology advancement. Together with the gradual consolidation of financial systems globally things should look different in the future.