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We've mentioned this before on Mobile Payments Today, but a lot of the ongoing discussions in the industry these days revolve around the customer experience and not necessarily the actual payment.
Yes, the payment is still important, but it's a means to an end, with that conclusion being the end (or near-end) of the shopping experience. But more focus is being put on what happens before, during and after the transaction.
Last month's top stories on Mobile Payments Today reflect that trend, and that's been happening for a long time on the site. There's more interest now in mobile ordering than ever before. And Amazon Go has created buzz like few other ideas before it.
We did publish an analysis about what Amazon Go means going forward for retail and payments. To be clear, we're still years away from this concept becoming mainstream. Even Amazon is having issues with its pilot store in Seattle.
One of the more interesting stories from last month was MasterCard's new partnership with Oracle. The deal will focus on helping restaurants, retailers and hotels create a better customer experience using Qkr! with Masterpass, the card network's mobile order-ahead and payment platform.
I'm sure we'll hear a lot more about mobile ordering in the months ahead.
5. "What's in a name for Masterpass, Venmo and Zelle?" — Venmo has staked its claim as a verb, which says something about its ubiquity. Masterpass and Zelle? Not so much.
At some point between 2012 and 2014, Venmo began to explode in popularity.
By the time PayPal acquired Venmo in 2014 as part of the Braintree purchase, two things had happened with the mobile person-to-person app, one of which is having a lasting impact on how some payments companies market their products.
Firstly, Venmo became the preferred P2P method for millennials, thanks in part to its social features. For reasons unknown to many, it suddenly became cool to see how people used Venmo to pay back their friends.
Secondly, and more importantly to this conversation, Venmo became a verb, joining the likes of Google in the lexicon of a certain demographic. When your product becomes a verb, you own that particular market.
For better or worse, Venmo is it when it comes to mobile P2P apps.
However, Venmo's success has created a marketing dilemma of sorts for others in the payments industry. And two companies, whether intentionally or not, seem to be following the Venmo "verb" blueprint.
4. "The impact of Amazon Go and the future of payments" — Does the consumer-controlled checkout Amazon Go offers hold revolutionary potential, or is it a blip on the radar before a newer, hotter trend dominates the popular narrative? In reality, it's a bit of both.
Amazon Go has captured the imagination of retailers and consumers alike. What could the future of shopping look like if the checkout line goes the way of the dinosaurs and becomes extinct? Does the consumer-controlled checkout Amazon Go offers hold revolutionary potential, or is it a blip on the radar before a newer, hotter trend dominates the popular narrative? In reality, it's a bit of both.
This shift is easier to comprehend if we consider Amazon's seamless payments promise in the same context as the Apple Store phenomenon, which had a similar disruptive impact on in-store retail models. Everyone's CEO fell in love with the idea of doing checkout on a mobile device; the simplicity, convenience, and personal touch were hard to ignore and it set the gold standard in these areas.
3. "Unconventional channels driving mobile payments adoption" — Mobile payment technology is still in its relative infancy, but growing pains can be costly when it comes to new technologies seeking wider adoption.
There are nearly 5 billion people worldwide using mobile phones. In the U.S., about 40 percent of all mobile device users have made one or more mobile payments in the last year. With both of these numbers projected to continue growing, it's clear that mobile payments will be a major part of the way we pay and conduct business well into the future.
Still, adoption hasn't come as quickly as expected. One potential solution to accelerating this process may lie in unconventional channels such as virtual reality and wearable tech, but can these technologies really drive more people toward mobile payments?
2. "MasterCard taps Oracle to bolster digital payments for consumers and merchants" — The card network said its new partnership with the software company will focus on restaurants, hotels and retail stores.
MasterCard made two announcements Monday at the annual Mobile World Congress in Spain that are intended to create better digital payments experiences for consumers while helping merchants keep pace with new technology developments.
MasterCard said its new partnership with software company Oracle will focus on three needs for restaurants, hotels and retail stores: The in-store experience for consumers, merchant operational efficiencies and what it calls cross-channel consistency.
One way MasterCard will help merchants develop and scale in-store experiences is through Qkr! with Masterpass, the card network's mobile order-ahead and payment platform.
MasterCard also announced Monday it expanded Qkr's availability to six new markets: Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa and the U.S.
1. "Understanding the risks of mobile-payments technology" — Fraud remains a risk that mobile payments providers, as well as consumers, need to be aware of and take measures against.
Fraud and risk management specialist Kount defines mobile payments in its Mobile Payments & Fraud: 2016 Report as a very broad term for any payment made on a device, be it at physical point-of-sale (POS) or mobile e-commerce payments, which can be further broken down into in-app or mobile web-browser payments.
By 2019, worldwide mobile payments are predicted to surpass $1 trillion dollars and on Black Friday 2016 in the US, online sales from mobile devices totaled $1.2 billion. This made up 36 percent of the total sales for the day, an increase of 33 percent on last year, showing just how popular this channel is becoming.
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