Payments are taking a backseat and becoming more and more invisible, leaving us more time to ensure value and enjoy the purchase. Innovation in payments is progressing to the next level, from fast or contactless payments to invisible payments and to allow
for multimodal transactions. We already have such offerings in the market, for example, the use of Contactless Cards or Mobile pay, across London transport e.g. underground, buses, trains etc . Tapping credit/debit card or mobile devices at the station barrier
ensures the correct type of ticket is purchased and money automatically deducted from the consumer’s wallet. If you use the service multiple times during the day, the ticket type is automatically updated to ‘travelcard’ to ensure the cheapest fare is charged.
This is very convenient for tourists as they don’t have to break their journey to purchase the correct ticket for each type of transport. There are also other examples like Uber , Amazon Go , Starbucks etc.
Whats next ? Is there going to be a smarter payments ecosystem which allows you to make purchases across/combining different types of products ? Can it be done seamlessly with the same device or method? A few things should align for this to happen.
Confidence in mobile/connected devices for payments should increase, driving more usage
The industry should standardize on a single technology for mobile payments such as NFC orHCE to improve adoption
Technology giants like Apple & Google who control the mobile OS market should partner and provide a standard platform with other key players
Banks and Payment providers should enforce a common API & messaging standard
Technology platforms to develop the bundled products and services which can process the complex transactions in real-time
Efforts have already started in this direction. Using apps like Deutsche Bahn journey planner, it is possible to string together a trip across Europe using multiple rail networks of different countries with absolute real-time precision and alternate routes
in the event of delays. The app even tracks the progress of the journey and reminds passengers to change trains at the correct station. However, you still have to queue up to buy tickets from one or more stations. These days tourists can easily plan travel,
accommodation, experiences, and meals using apps, but would still be required to pay for each of them separately using different methods. With the speedy growth of IoT and the adoption of connected device,s it is now possible to get up-to-date information,
combining this with payments allows to make use of it.
Invisible payments and payment convergence are gaps in the market which are fast getting filled. Choosing the right technology not only determines the success but also the longevity and cost of adoption. The key to such technology from a payments convergence
point of view is the ability to break complex bundle purchases across multiple providers into individual transactions hiding the complexity from the end-user. An eco-system that supports invisible payments is required for the above from the point of view of
service providers who cater to the end-user such that its fast, reliable and cheap to create.
Distributed In-Memory technologies like In-memory data grids and Distributed stream processing engines like Jet, Storm, flink etc are technologies that are widely used in the payment industry by large and small enterprises alike at various levels of the
payment life-cycle. In most cases these crucial products are provided different vendors requiring a third technology like Kafka to pass messages between the distributed nodes. In an industry where time is critical the latency this adds could be costly at peak
loads . Now however, there are better choices for example Hazelcast Jet which leverages In-memory data grid to manage state and data across nodes avoiding the need for an extra messaging layer and there by benefiting from performance as well. Such new breed
of fast processing engines along with Intels Optane DC memory is likely to push the boundaries in the payments space towards a brigher future.