Mobile Payments Today: June's top reads

| by Will Hernandez
Mobile Payments Today: June's top reads

iStock illustration.

Is it possible that too much payments innovation is a bad thing for consumers?

Steve Gilde, director of global product marketing for Paragon Application Systems, asked the question last month in a commentary that topped the charts on Mobile Payments Today.

The question had more to do with what happens behind the scenes as processing companies and others deal with the onslaught of new payments technology. 

"Many companies in the payments arena are still relying on legacy and outdated testing processes, which slows their ability to react to new opportunities, putting them at risk for system outages and failed transactions, and also leaving them susceptible to fintech disruptors determined to steal their high value consumers," Gilde wrote in the piece. 

Gilde went on to write "there are certain testing strategies that self-service organizations can deploy to help boost the digital experience for customers through an intelligent, secure and personal approach."

Rounding out the top five most-read stories on Mobile Payments Today in June were how Gen Z will affect payments going forward, a preview of our Mobile Wallet Comparison Guide, a look at what might be plaguing the Pays and a closer look at the cashless crusade in Sweden. 

5. "A closer look behind Sweden's cashless crusade": Sweden's apparent move toward becoming the planet's first cashless state is clearly neither accidental nor simply the outcome of choices made by the Swedish public.

The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco recently released a report on cash use in 42 countries reporting that:

Sweden has garnered attention as the poster child of cashless countries. Since the 1960s, Swedish banks have encouraged digital bank transfers, charged for checks, and invested heavily in card payment systems. The banking system collaborated to create an automated clearing house, Bankgirot, and to launch a popular mobile payments app, Swish.

Sweden also has a cultural stigma against cash, with some Swedes associating the payment method with crime. The 2009 Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act required police reports to be filed for large cash transactions, and high-profile cash robberies have contributed to public wariness of cash.

Sweden is certainly the country most often mentioned as having made the most "progress" toward becoming a cashless society.

Read the rest of the article.

4. "3 suggestions for the industry to "save" the Pays": Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay aren't going anywhere, but U.S. consumers are not enthusiastic about using them at the physical point-of-sale. But the industry could do some things to help bump adoption and incentivize merchants to accept NFC-enabled mobile payments.

I had to ask Ralph Dangelmaier to repeat himself, more so because I couldn't believe what he had said. I actually heard him loud and clear.

"Some people say Apple Pay is going to fail. I don't understand that at all," said Dangelmaier, CEO of global e-commerce payments company BlueSnap. "I don't know how you can ever say, having your credit card on your phone, that you can check out with, is ever going to fail."

I recently met Dangelmaier in Manhattan for a chat, to shoot the breeze about the industry and get a better idea of BlueSnap's place in it. The conversation eventually turned to NFC-enabled mobile payments, which seems to be a whipping boy of sorts lately.

The funny thing about Dangelmaier's statement is that he made it a couple of weeks before what I'll refer to as the now infamous eMarketer survey about consumers preferring Starbucks' mobile app to the Pays.

Read the rest of the article.

3. "Mobile Wallet Comparison Guide 2018: NFC smartphone payments stall":Mobile Payments Today Editor Will Hernandez previews the latest guide from Networld Media Group.

When Mobile Payments Today first published its annual Mobile Wallet Comparison Guide in 2015, a couple of different things were happening in the U.S. that should have propelled NFC-enabled proximity smartphone payments to new heights.

October 1, 2015. That date marked the true beginning of the EMV transition in the U.S.

The prevailing thought at the time among many payments industry executives was that NFC-enabled mobile payments would see a bump at the physical point of sale because merchants were installing terminals capable of accepting both EMV and contactless payments.

The other thing that happened during the EMV transition came on the consumer side and the clunky payment experience that emerged with the change. An EMV card dip became an exercise in patience as such a transaction took as long as 30 seconds or more to complete. Suddenly, a phone tap seemed like a much more practical, and better, payment experience.

But for multiple reasons, the bump never happened.

Read the rest of the article.

2. "Gen Z through the mobile payments lens":Gen Z is on the scene and ready to leave their own mark on banking and payments. This latest generation, born after 1999, view the world completely differently than those who have gone before.

Move over Millennials. Gen Z is on the scene and ready to leave their own mark on banking and payments. This latest generation, born after 1999, view the world completely differently than those who have gone before. Gen Z is more comfortable than prior generations with digital methods of moving money, and many anticipate supplementing traditional banking services with solutions from technology companies. 

In its study, Generation Z: The Kids Are All Right, based on a survey of more than 2,500 high school students from 16 to 18 years old, Raddon, a Fiserv business, found that Gen Z is already in the payments space. Sixty seven percent of these students currently have a bank or credit union account, either in their own name or with their parents. 

Somewhat surprisingly, Gen Z don't all fit in a digital box. About a third of Gen Z (34 percent) are Conventionals, who prefer to conduct business face-to-face with traditional banking providers. Another 37 percent are Digitals, who also prefer traditional providers but who favor digital or virtual communication. And then there are the Pioneers, the 28 percent who want to bank in a way that is most convenient for them, no matter the provider. These Pioneers are the ones most likely to push the revolution in payments.

Read the read of the article.

1. "How payments innovation actually hinders the customer experience": New technology and innovation is changing the way consumers want to pay, but the increasingly rapid pace of change also creates challenges and vulnerabilities for self-service equipment providers.

Convenience and speed have become consumers' universal baseline expectation for their payment experience, as they expect to be able to pay for just about anything, at any time or anywhere.

They can order ahead and pay at fine dining restaurants, request a ride home in a matter of minutes from a nearby Uber, or purchase a last minute gift from Amazon to arrive promptly on their doorstep that same day. And, in the not too distant future, these Amazon deliveries may perhaps even be completed by a drone. 

Payment technology continues to rapidly evolve to meet these increasingly sophisticated and immediate consumer demands. New innovations like voice payments, contactless cards and wearables are intended to make electronic payments even easier and more frictionless. These alternative payments will continue to drive adoption among self-service and payment providers, disrupting the industry one transaction at a time and setting the stage for even further innovation.

However, for many payment processing organizations, the tools and methodologies required to effectively support the rapid evolution of today's payments landscape simply do not exist.

Read the rest of article.

Topics: Bank Customer Experience Summit, Card Brands, CONNECT: The Mobile CX Summit, Contactless / NFC, EMV, Handsets / Devices, In-App Payments, Mobile/Digital Wallet, 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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