March mobile payments 5 for 5: Mobile World Congress in focus
Last month's Mobile World Congress represented a refresh of sorts for the mobile payments industry as we got a glimpse into some recent trends that could have some staying power this year and beyond.
André Stoorvogel, head of marketing for Bell ID, summarized the most recent Mobile World Congress in what turned out to be the most-read piece of content on Mobile Payments Today in March.
Stoorvogel pointed to a couple of notable announcements related to mobile payments, including PayPal's inclusion of NFC in its Android app for users in Australia and U.S., as well as a partnership with Vodafone in Europe. MasterCard announced the expansion of its biometric authentication system for mobile payments (popularly known as "Selfie Pay," but also including fingerprint recognition), which will soon be rolled out across the U.S., Canada and parts of Europe.
Rounding out the month's most-read articles are a piece about where the industry stands six months after the U.S. EMV liability shift; Google's hands-free payments pilot in San Francisco; a blog post about retailers seeking ways to embed loyalty into mobile payments; and a blog post about consumers' security concerns about mobile payments.
5. "Apple, the FBI and the security of mobile payments" — Tim Spenny, from GfK Research, wrote about how the security of mobile phones is relevant to the mobile payments industry.
The battle between Apple and the FBI over the encryption of the San Bernardino attacker's iPhone is playing out in the press and, regardless of which side of the argument you might take, it appears that the battle will not be decided anytime soon given the larger issues at stake.
The security of mobile phones is particularly relevant to the mobile payments industry. According to GfK's latest FutureBuy research, mobile payments make up only 3 percent of all payments transactions in the U.S. – relatively low compared to other payment methods such as cash, credit and debit.
4. "Retailers ponder ways to embed loyalty into mobile wallets" — What customers want is an easy way to use their fully functional mobile wallets to pay for everything from airline tickets to pharmacy items to clothing. And they'd be extra happy if their airline miles and retailer rewards balances could be incorporated into those transactions.
What customers want is an easy way to use their fully functional mobile wallets to pay for everything from airline tickets to pharmacy items to clothing.
And they'd be extra happy if their airline miles and retailer rewards balances could be incorporated into those transactions.
Companies want the same functionality, too, and some brands are already supporting mobile wallets with built-in loyalty capabilities – and if they're not, they should be.
That functionality is particularly important if businesses want to be ready to capture the additional revenue streams that await from the multiple-currency capability for payments and transactions when loyalty is a key component of customers' wallets.
The mobile payments ecosystem is definitely moving that way.
3. "Google goes "hands free" with mobile payments" — The company is testing what it calls a 'Hands Free' app that enables users to make and confirm purchases without a payment card or mobile wallet.
As Google continues to grow Android Pay's user base in the U.S. and beyond, the company is prepared to look beyond mobile wallets at different alternatives such as "hands-free" payments, which combines a standalone app with Bluetooth technology that consumers can use to make and confirm purchases at participating retailers.
Google Wednesday announced it is testing an app called Hands Free in the southern San Francisco Bay area with merchants such as McDonald's and Papa John's.
Hands Free is currently available on Android and iOS devices, and the necessary beacon technology needed to communicate with the app is installed at select McDonald's and Papa John's in the South Bay area. Some local eateries also are involved in the pilot.
2. "Six months after the US EMV liability shift, where do we stand?" — Andrew Molloy, the director of product of Ingenico Mobile Solutions, writes about the mPOS aspect of the EMV shift.
Six months into the EMV liability shift is a good time to reflect on how the transition to EMV has gone for merchants and consumers using mobile POS (mPOS) solutions.
According to Ingenico Group survey data, most consumers today have at least one chip card in their wallet, so they are ready for EMV. But not all merchants are.
Most Tier One merchants have completed their EMV migrations or are far down the path of upgrading their payment infrastructures – including fixed, wireless, and mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) devices – to start accepting chip cards. Many smaller merchants seem to be taking a wait-and-see approach on EMV, even though the impact of fraud can be more devastating for them on a relative basis.
1. "Mobile payments, IoT and wearables all the talk at Mobile World Congress" — Mobile World Congress may be over, but the dust is still settling from the biggest mobile event of the year.
Mobile World Congress may be over, but the dust is still settling from the biggest mobile event of the year.
With so many announcements before, during and after the event, it can be hard to separate the gold dust from the gimmicks. To help, here's our summary of some of the biggest mobile payments trends from the event, and what they mean for the industry in 2016 and beyond.
Topics: ATMs, Bill Payment, Bitcoin, Card Brands, Carriers / Operators, CONNECT: The Mobile CX Summit, 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
Will Hernandez has 14 years of experience ranging from newspapers to wire services and trade publications. Before becoming Editor of MobilePaymentsToday.com, he spent two years as the content manager for PaymentsJournal.com, a leading payments industry news aggregator and information hub published by Mercator Advisory Group. Will spent four years covering the payments industry as an associate editor for multiple publications in SourceMedia's Payments Group based in Chicago.