Remember when you were a kid and you could bolt out of the house with nothing more than a few bills folded into your pocket? There is a sense of freedom that comes with being able to leave your wallet or purse at home. Suddenly, there's no bulge in your back pocket to worry about, no heavy sack hanging off your shoulder. You may start to wonder: Why don't I do this all the time? Well turns out, you can.
In this June 30, 2016, image taken by AP Images for Visa, Team Visa athlete Popole Misenga uses his Visa payment ring at the Copacabana Megastore in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Payment networks and manufacturers are building payment functions into more devices -- expanding your options as well as freeing up your hands. Connected "smart" accessories such as watches, bands and rings travel lighter than a phone. To use, the wearer holds a wrist or hand up to a contactless payment terminal. Visa tested these devices at the 2016 Rio Olympics to demonstrate possibilities, says Mark Jamison, global head of innovation and design at Visa. (Leo Correa/AP Images for Visa) The Associated Press
Although the topic of "mobile payments" has been a buzzword in the payment landscape for several years, the figures on actual adoption have not quite met up to the hype. For example, in a recent US survey, only 29% of smartphone owners said they would use a mobile payment app. However, trends in other parts of the world show that this will probably change in 2018. One reason for this is the continual expansion of Asian mobile wallets into other parts of the world. Popular apps such as Alipay and WeChat have many loyal users throughout Asia and especially China, who use the apps extensively to pay for everyday products and make peer-to-peer payments. As Asian consumers become ever more mobile and travel to other parts of the world more often, the reach of these mobile payment platforms will also likely widen to provide greater convenience to Asian travellers. In fact, Chinese citizens are expected to make 225 million international trips by 2030, which adds up to a 7.3% CAGR for the period 2016 – 2030. Not only will Asian users demand that these apps are accepted by a growing number of countries and payment providers, consumers of other nationalities and cultures are also likely to come into greater contact with the capabilities of such apps, and will therefore adopt them or call for similar local alternatives.
This article is triggered by real life incidents combined with a high-level overview of mobile financial services and mobile payments. The payment technologies covered herein are neither new nor a revolutionary innovation. Almost all of them have been here on this planet from decades. Not all of us have been aware or maybe the way I have experienced them was far different from everyone else. Mobile payments using NFC, USSD, Mobile App and SMS interface have been in existence for a long time.
As a credit union, having mobile capabilities is no longer an option. Credit unions today must offer and utilize a robust mobile solution in order to be in the game. Much is made in the media today about why Apple Pay has not taken off as anticipated. This is a classic "chicken or the egg" conundrum. The journey started with building a phone with the technology and capabilities to be used securely at the point of sale.