Mobile Payments Today: January's best reads

| by Will Hernandez
Mobile Payments Today: January's best reads

The new year started in much of the same way 2016 ended in that much of the discussions involving mobile payments centered on how providers can increase consumer adoption.

That was the focal point of one panel discussion last month at MasterCard's Digital Money Forum during the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Nana Murugesan, vice president and general manager of services and new business at Samsung, wasn't ready to say that a tipping point had been reached with mobile payments and consumers in the first few days of 2017. His comments were included on a blog pst from CES, and that piece was one of the most-read articles on Mobile Payments Today last month. 

Speaking of CES, I had the opportunity to experience a demo for in-car payments. I had one question after the experience was over: Are in-car payments innovative?

Another article that received a lot on Mobile Payments Today was one about Amazon Go. The retail industry is wondering how that concept will play out with consumers in the years to come. 

5. "Are in-car payments innovative?" — Their success will likely hinge on the same issues as mobile payments — consumer adoption and acceptance.

The payments industry loves to throw around the word innovation.

We hear it so much that some of us have a hard time determining whether a product is a breakthrough that will alter this particular corner of the market and bring true upheaval with it.

At least that's how I view things at times.

When you're at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, innovation is supposed to be all around you. From televisions to cars to virtual reality and little knick knacks and doodads, companies scream that their products are innovative. Some are, while others fall short in the long run.

I'm still trying to determine if what I saw at Honda's booth with in-vehicle payments is a breakthrough. A couple of factors, including consumer adoption and ubiquity, will play into the determination whether this concept can be a success.

Read the rest of the article. 

4. "Will rewards finally push mobile payments past the tipping point?" — One of the more interesting discussions during the Digital Money Forum Wednesday at the annual Consumer Electronics Show revolved around consumer take-up of mobile payments technologies.

One of the more interesting discussions during the Digital Money Forum Wednesday at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was whether the payments industry has come to a tipping point with consumer adoption of mobile payments in the U.S.

Nana Murugesan, vice president and general manager of services and new business at Samsung, wasn't ready to say that point had been reached in the first few days of 2017.

"It depends on the tipping point definition," he said in one of many panel discussions during the forum. "If your definition is softer where mobile is a more preferred method [with consumers], I think we're getting close — maybe three years away."

Murugesan's view is shared by many executives in an industry that once believed this imaginary tipping point would be in the rearview mirror by now. But year after year, the industry has had to push that goal back. "Let's look at the year 2020," is a rallying cry of sorts for executives.

Read the rest of the article.

3. "Amazon Go's impact on payments, self-checkout" — The Amazon Go store has no cash register or payment kiosk. Instead, shoppers scan themselves into the store using the free Amazon Go app, shop as normal, remove items from a store shelf, place items in a shopping bag, and leave the store.

Recently, Amazon introduced what many industry observers are calling a "game changer," entitled Amazon Go. Amazon's newest concept enables shoppers to enjoy the maximum convenience of shopping without the need to stop and check out.

This process, also referred to as "walkout shopping," saves both the store and its shoppers time and money. Despite the fact that the potential impact of automated self checkout is still being tested and perfected, Amazon has devised a new scheme that allows shoppers to grab and go without stopping to scan or pay.

The long-term implications are hard to predict, but this is a development that could revolutionize much of retailing as we know it, including some kiosk industry segments.

Read the rest of the article. 

2. "How banks can win the P2P payments war" — Roxanne Voidonicolas, marketing communications specialist at Sensibill, relates how financial institutions might be able to snag some market share from incumbents such as Venmo and Square Cash.

"Figuring out who owes what at the end of a nice meal is like entering the seventh circle of hell."

In The Inefficiency of Splitting the Bill, researcher Uri Gneezy defines the "unscrupulous diner's dilemma" using game theory. He explains that people choose to split a bill evenly rather than figure out “who owes what” because of the mental and social costs involved in requesting an itemized bill.  

  1. The social cost of appearing stingy or of being a cumbersome patron to waiters.
  2. The mental cost of figuring out one's share of the bill and calculating the portion of the tax and tip that apply to that share.

The dilemma of bill-splitting applies to more than just dining, and can accrue over time as tracking payments owed becomes more of a financial burden. Think shared households and utility bills, splitting the costs of a gift, or co-managing a travel budget. Peer-to-peer (P2P) payments providers are trying to solve this pain point, but how well are they solving for both the social and mental costs?

1. "5 mobile-payment trends to watch in 2017" — Scott Blum, the vice president of Total Merchant Services, gives his take on what he expects from mobile payments in the new year.

Each year brings new possibilities in mobile device technology. Smartphones have become more than just texting machines; they are now mini-computers, personal assistants and virtual shopping carts. More and more consumers would be lost without their smartphone, relying on it to get through the day.

Given the advances and rapid rate of new technologies, smartphones have become essential to how we live our lives. Technologies including mobile wallets, on-demand apps, a new era of digital assistants, and enhanced connectivity through near field communications (NFC) and Bluetooth are transforming the way consumers interact and rely on their phones. 

The following takes a closer look at the top five mobile payment trends for 2017. 

Read the rest of the article. 

Topics: Handsets / Devices, In-App Payments, POS, Retail, Trends / Statistics

Will Hernandez
Will Hernandez has 14 years of experience ranging from newspapers to wire services and trade publications. Before becoming Editor of, he spent two years as the content manager for, 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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