Mobile Payments Today: February's top stories

| by Will Hernandez
Mobile Payments Today: February's top stories

iStock illustration.

Mobile person-to-person apps and systems at the moment are probably at the height of their popularity.

Zelle, which is backed by major banks in the U.S. and run by Early Warning Services, is enjoying great success, even rivaling what is considered the leader of the P2P clubhouse, Venmo.

But success in payments can also bring with it a bit of bad fortune in the form of scams. 

Green Dot has dealt with that in the past with its prepaid MoneyPak product. Zelle now is facing a bit of that with a scam that involves Craigslist.

I highlighted the scam in a blog post last month in what was the most read piece of content on Mobile Payments in February. And it wasn’t even close.

I argued that Zelle and the banks should not be held responsible for consumers who absentmindedly send money to “sellers” on Craigslist without doing their due diligence. And a number of executives in the banking and payments industries agreed with that assessment when I posted the article on LinkedIn.

Consumers need to do a better job safeguarding their information in this digital age. Banks and retailers can only do so much. 

Rounding out the top five stories from last month are pieces about Visa’s recent Winter Olympics push; the future of direct carrier billing in 2018; a throwback from late last year about QR codes and e-commerce; and why mPOS adoption continues to lag with retailers.

5. "Visa hawks its wares at PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games": Visa's wearables initiative at the PyeongChang Games continued to illustrate how the card networks have acted more like technology companies than ever before as the payments industry continues to evolve.

As a worldwide audience keeps tabs on their favorite Winter Olympics athletes in South Korea, Visa once again is using that stage to showcase emerging payments technology as the official payment service provider for the event, as well as the Paralympics Games.

Visa late last year announced a partnership with Lotte Card, the financial arm of South Korean-based retailer Lotte Department Store, to produce and make new prepaid payment wearables consumers could buy to use at Olympic venues.

Visa's wearables initiative at the PyeongChang Games continued to illustrate how the card networks have acted more like technology companies than ever before as the payments industry continues to evolve.

Read the rest of the article.

4. "The future of direct carrier billing in 2018": PSD2 in Europe has already begun paving the way for new generations of payment providers and direct carrier billing services, which are offering a more compelling customer-focused strategy, compared to the existing legacy providers.

Last month, the new Payment Services Directive (PSD2) came into effect in Europe, revolutionizing the entire payments industry and affecting everything from the way consumers pay for goods and services, to the safety and security of their data online.

The directive has already begun paving the way for new generations of payment providers and direct carrier billing services, which are offering a more compelling customer-focused strategy, compared to the existing legacy providers.

The new regulation update is standardizing and improving payment efficiency across the EU fintech industry, all while promoting innovation and competition between banks and new payment service providers. These new services will look to challenge existing companies such as MasterCard and Visa by offering a range of services that make banking hassle-free and are shaped to improve the customer experience.

Read the rest of the article.

3. "How QR codes are changing e-commerce": The QR code – which has had a wild ride – is going to both speed up the e-commerce payment experience and make it more secure.

E-commerce has long relied on the "card-not-present" payment method. At this point, online consumers can do the routine with their eyes closed: Enter their credit card number and billing address into the website form, flip their card around to key in the security code, and click "Purchase."

The QR code – which has had a wild ride – is going to both speed up the e-commerce payment experience and make it more secure.

The security risks associated with the CNP payment method are well known.

Merchants' systems – which store all the information criminals need to commit fraud with consumers' credit or debit cards – have been vulnerable attack points, hence the data breaches we read about daily. They also don't have a way to confirm whether the information a consumer enters is their own or compromised data.

Read the rest of the article.

2. "Why mPOS adoption continues to lag with retailers": Ben Wagner, director of product, solutions at Ingenico Group/North America, explains why there is tremendous potential when it comes to the mobile point of sale but there are some barriers that need to be knocked down.

A few years ago, there was considerable buzz in the retail industry about the enormous potential of mobile point of sale and its ability to transform the in-store customer experience. With online competitors driving new consumer expectations and shopping behavior, this was seen as a key strategy in blunting the competition and giving brick and mortar merchants an upper hand.

Indeed, we may finally be seeing large-scale adoption of mPOS become a reality. According to a recent report by Business Insider Intelligence, the mPOS device market is expected to grow from 3.2 million mPOS devices in 2014 to 27.7 million by 2020. The same report also highlights that retailers are the key group driving this growth of the mPOS ecosystem.

However, according to a recent study by HP, only 3 percent of enterprise merchants have fully deployed an mPOS solution, so adoption has been slower than analysts expected up to this point. There are a few reasons for this, and they involve some of the challenges retailers have faced with the prospect of implementing mPOS.

In helping some of the world's top retailers explore and implement mPOS in recent years, we've had many conversations about those challenges.

Read the rest of the article.

1. "Zelle 'scam' reveals the need for consumer responsibility": Bottom line: don't do business with people on Craigslist unless you meet them in person.

Where is the sense of personal responsibility?

That's what I asked myself after I read a report from TechCrunch about consumers falling victim to a scam that involves Zelle, the mobile person-to-person platform backed by the biggest banks in the U.S.

The scam itself is straightforward.

A Craigslist user reaches out to a seller on the marketplace to buy something like concert tickets. The seller, in turn, asks the buyer to complete the transaction via Zelle, which the victim apparently is unaware exists. 

The buyer, which believes Zelle is legit (and it is) to use because it's backed by their bank, transfers the funds through and never receives the tickets. 

Meantime, the seller closes the bank account and disappears into the night.

The victim then turns to Zelle and the banks to reimburse them for authorizing what was technically a legit, but shady purchase to begin with. Come on, it's Craigslist!

Read the rest of article.


Topics: ATMs, Bank Customer Experience Summit, Bill Payment, Bitcoin, Card Brands, Carriers / Operators, CONNECT: The Mobile CX Summit, Contactless / NFC, Direct Carrier Billing, EMV, Handsets / Devices, HCE, ICX Summit, 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
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. View Will Hernandez's profile on LinkedIn

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