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The Future of Mobile Payments

First people feared giving your credit card number over internet versus giving it to an operator on the phone...now we are using the phone to swipe your credit card via an online app. Funny how things become so easily integrated. According to Pew Research, “Within the next decade, smart-device swiping will have gained mainstream acceptance as a method of payment and could largely replace cash and credit cards for most online and in-store purchases by smartphone and tablet owners, according to a new survey of technology experts and stakeholders.” 

Are you one of the early adapters who has already explored mobile payment options such as Starbucks or Level Up?

The Benefits:
Starbucks: According to Venture Beat: “The coffee chain has processed more than 42 million m-payment transactions since its Mobile Pay platform was launched in January 2011, Van Grove tells us. Back in December, Starbucks reported that “there have been 26 million mobile transactions to date,” so evidently the growth rate is accelerating.” What can we learn from Starbucks? Consumers like what’s simple, easy, and not a big diversion from their regular habits. What makes life simpler? Using a cell phone app which is easy to access, program, and keep track of. Starbucks demonstrated this with finesse, which can be seen from the growth discussed. 

The Issue:
Just at Starbucks? Multiple locations and uses would be nice - rather than having multiple apps. LevelUp tries to resolve this issue with their mobile payment app. Not only can you sync up any credit card, but it can be used at multiple places of business. My favorite part is that you earn money to spend at locations when you use the app. Why pay directly with a credit card when you earn rewards from a simple to use app? 

Perks / Rewards
Speaking of perks and rewards...most credit cards also have these when you spend a certain amount. Do mobile app rewards match up to loyalty rewards of say, an Amex card? I guess it depends how you view rewards and what rewards you prefer. I look forward to the day that Amex has a mobile payment app of their own which sync the rewards available -- and can be used anywhere, anytime, with the touch of an app button or a request to Siri. 

Apple - The New Warden?
And then we have Apple who may be coming out with the iWallet. According to Mashable, “If implemented, the system would allow parents to control how much their child is able to spend, where those purchases can take place and what types of transactions will be allowed.” In short there would images that could be shared and notify the parent on what the child is purchasing - from dvds to alcohol.

Heading to the start line...
Others aren’t far behind either: eBay has jumped in the ball game with PayPal, and Mastercard is not far off with experiments in the lab with nifty QR Codes. Who will be first? Who will be best? Will 2020 be the year that Mobile Payments take over? Will it be sooner? There are lots of questions, and more answers come each day. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Image Credit: Bigstockphoto.com
Additional Reading:
http://mashable.com/follow/topics/mobile-payments/
http://mashable.com/2012/04/17/mobile-payments-2020/
http://mashable.com/2012/03/09/iwallet-apple-patent-iphone/
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/mastercard_shows_the_future_of_mobile_payments_is.php
http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2012/03/23/with-paypal-here-ebay-jumps-into-the-mobile-card-payments-fray/
https://squareup.com/

 

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