Recent research has suggested that by 2020, credit and debit card payments will no longer be the preferred method of payment, with paying by smartphone taking over. If this expectation becomes reality it will signal a remarkable milestone in the meteoric
rise of the smartphone.
While cash and card payments still currently dominate, there is a large possibility of alternative methods of payment, such as smartphones, becoming more widely used over the next five years as such devices, and the convenience they offer, gain favour among
The cashless society is an idea predicted to become reality in an ever shortening time frame, both by the media and in current industry blogs. Some reports have predicted a UK smartphone ownership level of over 80 per cent in 2015; will innovation in smartphone
technology prove the final nail in the coffin of traditional payment methods?
One hurdle currently blocking the rise of smartphone payments is people’s ever-increasing fear of fraud. Put simply, an increase in devices able to make payments will give fraudsters more avenues to attempt to steal information. Whilst banking and payment
apps are by and large very secure, a compromised device can still leak vital login information through underhand malware.
While the modern day smartphone acts as a mini computer for many consumers, people tend not to regard the need for security on their phones as they would on their laptops. Infected apps offer a quick and easy route for hackers to gain access to smartphones,
with the unknowing downloader having no idea that their device is at risk. The widespread adoption of the smartphone for banking and transactional purposes has been on the increase for a number of years now, however consumer attitudes towards smartphone security
is currently lacking with our own recent research revealing that 60 per cent of smartphone owners having no antivirus protection.
While smartphone users may be mostly unaware of the need to install antivirus programs on their phone, smartphone payments as a relatively new payment technology means that there will naturally be some initial distrust around safety. There is however one
recent technological development that may calm these fears earlier than predicted…
The introduction of a fingerprint scanner on new Apple products has undoubtedly brought biometrics into the mainstream this past year. The action of passing it around your friends to see if they can unlock your phone (and ultimately failing to do so) will
go a long way to proving that the finger print scanner is a secure point of entry to their mobile devices.
Recently this has been taken a step further, with some lenders announcing that Touch ID will be an approved method for customers to sign into their secure banking apps. This is a huge step forward for biometric technology in finance, and we may assume that
the other big banking names will quickly follow suit.
The quick, convenient and secure appearance of the fingerprint scanner makes it an ideal catalyst for the growth of smartphone payments. The digital banking background is a war waged on convenience and fingerprint scanning may just be the beginning. Voice
or even facial recognition could also play a part in future payments system, which combined with fingerprint scanning, could act as an even securer, yet still convenient, method of payment.
However, the fear of fraud has not been totally eliminated by the introduction of this new technology as there have been reports that several groups did actually manage to find a way around it. Of course, it may be argued that no technology is invincible,
but that it’s a learning curve to finding the right equilibrium.
Whether these latest developments mean that smartphone payments will outpace cards by 2020 is still to be seen. What is becoming clear however is that we are only just beginning the scratch the surface of the potential of the smartphone as the new digital