Why aren't retailers jumping en masse aboard the mobile payments train? Well, there is no gravy on it, the train is not leaving the station yet, and it might even be cancelled.
It all boils down to "what's in it for me?" As a retailer, I am hit with the same charges no matter how card-linked payment is done - contactless (card or mobile), QR or telepathy. Why incur extra expense to get little or no added value (arguably, contactless
payments are quicker, yet transaction time is not the main speed bottleneck at the check-out).
How can that problem be solved? "Simples!", as my famous namesake put it. Offer retailers 1% flat fee on all transactions
below £5, with one penny as the minimum charge.
On top of that offer them free EMV readers and act as the acquirer for all other transactions too. That's an offer which few retailers would refuse - handling cash costs them more.
It will then be the retailers and not the banks et al who would be reminding consumers that "you can pay with contactless".
Why hasn't that been done yet? Main reason - none of the existing card schemes are offering corresponding rates. That means an alternative transaction routing must be used, to take the funds directly from the consumer's bank account. There is a company that
works on that. I wonder whether they roll out sooner than the card schemes smell the danger and react. We'll see...