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A new year brings with it the same old questions about mobile payments, specifically the one that asks will (insert year) be the year for mobile payments.
But instead of asking this tired question, maybe the industry should ask itself what it can do to improve mobile payments at this point. This was the focus of a panel discussion at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Mobile Payments Today attended the event to moderate a panel that included executives from Citi, MasterCard and Samsung Pay.
The questions we sought to answer during the discussion included how we arrived at this point with mobile payments, where mobile payments is going next, and whether consumers are ready to come along for the ride. Our panel summary was the most-read story on the site in January.
Rounding out January's most-read articles are a piece about some big issues facing mobile payments; a New York company’s attempt at a mobile-only grocery checkout app; an Internet of Things partnership between MasterCard and Samsung; and a contributed article about the fintech industrial revolution.
5. "The fintech industrial revolution is upon us" - This digitalized revolution is undoubtedly booming and the speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent, writes Xendpay Founder and CEO Rajesh Agrawal.
This digitalized revolution is undoubtedly booming and the speed of current breakthroughs has no historical precedent.
Furthermore, it is disrupting virtually every industry in every country. For instance, the payments industry is one that is already in the midst of this dramatic change, as traditional banks are competing against smaller, combative companies over who will manage our finances in the future. This fierce competition is producing exciting innovations that are having a massive impact on the way money changes hands.
Fintech companies share an ability to build and implement technology that aims to make financial systems and markets more efficient. In 2015, key developments included, amongst many others, the development of alternative loan payments, steps to combat online fraud and also breakthroughs in the transfer of money.
4. "Groceries get 'smart' with MasterCard and Samsung" - Groceries by MasterCard is a new app that Samsung will include in its upcoming refrigerator, the 'Family Hub.'
A trip to the supermarket might be a thing of the past in the coming years thanks to a partnership between MasterCard and Samsung that enables homeowners to fulfill their grocery shopping list without leaving the comfort of their own kitchen.
Groceries by MasterCard is a new app that Samsung will include in its upcoming smart refrigerator, the "Family Hub." The appliance, which is scheduled to be available to U.S. consumers in May, is equipped with a 21.5-inch, 1080p touchscreen monitor in the right-hand door that consumers can use to shop and select items from their favorite brands.
For MasterCard, the announcement comes at a time when the company continues to raise its profile as a technology company rather than merely a card network, and as an emerging payments leader in the Internet of Things.
3. "New York company debuts pure mobile-only grocery checkout" - FutureProof Retail has introduced what it claims is the first starttofinish, secure selfcheckout mobile app.
While AmazonFresh, FreshDirect and Peapod have offered consumers varying degrees of online and mobile grocery ordering for several years, the in-store experience could use some help.
Companies such as Diebold, NCR and Scandit, among others, have introduced systems that allow consumers to bypass traditional checkout lines and use a special kiosk to pay for their groceries after scanning items via a smartphone app.
New York-based FutureProof Retail now has its own twist on the concept and today introduced what it said is the first start-to-finish, secure self-checkout mobile app.
Grocery stores that deploy the white-label product do not need to install a special kiosk for customers to complete their orders because the app handles the entire shopping process.
2. "What are some big issues facing mobile payments?" - This was a question Mobile Payments Today attempted to answer last month during an hour-long Twitter Q&A session.
Early last month, Mobile Payments Today and yours truly hosted an hour-long Twitter Q&A session about the most pressing issues the payments industry, especially mobile, faces today.
Our chat came at a good time.
The holiday shopping season was underway two months after the EMV liability shift in the U.S. The transition brought with it some issues at the physical point of sale for consumers, most notably longer wait times to complete a transaction. Some retailers such as CVS turned off EMV acceptance in December because long lines interfered with a busy time of the year.
But while the EMV shift has caused consumers and retailers some headaches, is there a positive that we can glean from it?
1. "Is the time now for mobile payments?" - Mobile Payments Today was at the annual Consumer Electronics Show to moderate a panel about where mobile payments stand with consumers.
The Consumer Electronics Show has become an annual showcase for the latest gadgets and technology concepts that might one day become a mainstay with the general public.
Mobile payments isn't the first thing that comes to mind at CES, but event organizers thought it was appropriate to host a panel discussion on the topic and how it resonates with consumers.
I had the privilege of moderating the panel, which included representatives from Citi, MasterCard and Samsung Pay. The session, called "Mobile Payments Roulette," aimed to make sense of what many observers considered a successful past year for mobile payments, but one that also saw significant fragmentation. The questions we sought to answer during the discussion included how we arrived at this point, where mobile payments is going next, and whether consumers are ready to come along for the ride.
Topics: ATMs, Bill Payment, Card Brands, Carriers / Operators, Contactless / NFC, Direct Carrier Billing, EMV, Handsets / Devices, HCE, In-App Payments, Loyalty Programs, Mobile Banking, Mobile/Digital Wallet, Mobile Marketing, Money Transfer / P2P, POS, Regulatory Issues, Restaurants, Retail, Security, Trends / Statistics