Mobile Payments Today: September's best reads

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

We've reached a point of saturation as it relates to this industry discussing why proximity mobile-payments adoption continues to lag with consumers in the U.S.

Executive after executive will offer solutions to different problems and while those recommendations sound simple on the surface to executive, a complex ecosystem, as well as finicky consumer preferences, continue to stymie progress.

That said, a couple of our top stories in September gave us suggestions for how Apple can attract more active Apple Pay users, and how the industry can grow proximity mobile payments.

Rounding out the top five stories from last night are pieces about a millennials panel at last month’s Bank Customer Experience Summit in Chicago, how recent POS malware attacks signal a need for app security for mobile payments and how the industry can move society towards a cashless society.

5. "From the source: Millennials share views about Alexa, Apple Pay, Venmo" — A panel at this year's Bank Customer Experience Summit brought together some college students from the University of Chicago to discuss how they view today's financial services.

No demographic today is more dissected in the financial services industry than millennials. And for a good reason.

Let's take these numbers into consideration for a moment:

  • There are some 90 million millennials today in the U.S.
  • By 2025, millennials will be the highest earning generation in history
  • Of those 90 million millennials, some 40 million of them would switch to a digital-only bank.

With that as a background, we decided to do something a little different at my company's rebranded Bank Customer Experience Summit (formerly know at the ATM & Mobile Innovation Summit) this past week in Chicago. We invited college students from the University of Chicago to share their thoughts on how they view today's financial services environment, and the results in some ways surprised me.

Read the rest of the article.

4. "Recent POS malware attacks signal a need for app security for mobile payments" — Thorston Held, co-founder and managing director of whiteCryption, examines the recent POS security attacks and what they mean for mobile payments.

In the past, hackers have most often gone after specific merchants when seeking cardholder information. Recent attacks on point-of-sale (POS) vendors, however, may signal a drastic shift in how these cybercriminals operate, and certainly signal a need for application security for mobile payments.

More than 10 POS vendors, including MICROS, have been compromised within the last few weeks. Some of these attacks may be linked to two specific forms of malware: Carbanak and MalumPOS. However, no definitive link between the hackers behind these programs and the recent attacks is certain.

The damage that these attacks can cause are best exemplified with the story of the HEI Hotels & Resorts company. It recently reported a POS-related breach of security at 20 of the properties it manages (which includes major hotel chains such as Marriott and Sheraton). Card numbers, cardholder names, expiration dates, and verification codes used between March 2015 and June 2016 may all have been exposed.

Read the rest of the article.

3. "Cashless and confident: Growing the proximity payment market" — Thomas Rosteck from Infineon discusses the challenges preventing the growth of mobile payments at the physical point of sale.

After many years of discussion, it seems that the cashless society is becoming a reality, thanks to the rapid growth of mobile payment technologies. However, while early adopters have been keen to use the technology, mobile payment hasn't taken off as rapidly as many analysts expected. Indeed, mobile wallet adoption in the US has actually slowed and surveys indicate that only 13.1 percent of eligible users in the US have tried Apple Pay.

As the general manager of Infineon's Secure Mobile & Transaction business, I believe that building confidence among both consumers and retailers is fundamental to mass-market acceptance of 'proximity' payment. Creating this confidence requires all of those involved in the mobile payment ecosystem to work together, addressing issues that include transactional security and fraud risk, ease-of-use, interoperability between payment infrastructures and across regions and retailer training.

Read the rest of the article.

2. "Mixed reality: A way forward towards a cashless society" — In his latest blog post for Mobile Payments Today, Bruce Burke discusses how "mixed reality" technology could be interwoven between shopping, buying and paying for goods.

I recently watched a video interview with Magic Leap's Founder and CEO, Rony Abovitz. In the video, he quipped that his technology produced mixed reality. Not virtual reality or augmented reality (AR), but rather mixed reality. 

After watching his interview and viewing the Magic Leap experience, I started thinking about how this mixed reality technology could be interwoven with shopping, buying and paying for goods. 

Money is defined as a current medium of exchange in the form of coins and banknotes; coins and banknotes collectively. But how much money worldwide now originates in digital rather than physical (coins and banknotes) form?

And how much money does not begin life as a national currency but is at sometime in its lifecycle is used as one? The idea of physical dollars and cents today makes about as much sense as physical banks – they are really just not necessary. With all these new currencies floating around, how much "money" is currently circling the globe?

Read the rest of the article.

1. "Apple Pay: The challenge of attracting active users" — Apple Pay has successfully piqued the curiosity of millions of consumers. However, Apple has not seen the average user make it part of their everyday lives. Maxime de Nanclas, COO and co-founder of Mobeewave, writes about what's causing this in a contributed article for Mobile Payments Today.

The endurance of any mobile wallet depends on active users: people who embrace a technology and use it to carry out multiple transactions each day. Not only do they drive transaction volume, they also provide an indication of genuine behavioral change on the part of the consumer.

That said, the initial adoption of Apple Pay has been good since it was released in the U.S. almost two years ago. Tim Cook said in April that "Apple Pay is growing at a tremendous rate." He added that the service’s transaction volume increased fivefold in a year and that it was gaining 1 million new users per week. But keep in mind Apple has yet to reveal any specific numbers regarding Apple Pay.

Read the rest of the article.

Topics: Card Brands, Contactless / NFC, EMV, Handsets / Devices, HCE, Mobile/Digital Wallet, Mobile Payments, 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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