Over the past few years, we have seen a wave of innovations in the payments industry, which has extended across the world. New transactional models are continuing to emerge, and conventional payment methods such as cheques, cash and credit cards are being joined by a new generation of mobile-friendly solutions. Mobile payments have become increasingly popular in the commerce world, as today’s consumers put a premium on convenience.
Combine this with the rapid growth in the worldwide adoption of smartphones, and it is plausible that mobile payments may completely take over the global marketplace, sooner than later. As per recent research, there will be more than 5.5 billion mobile users globally by 2020. The corresponding explosion of mobile payment apps complements the proliferation of smartphones that are used as low-cost Point-of-Sale (POS) systems. This blend of plentifully available hardware and fast developing technology makes mobile payments as easy to use as cash or debit/credit cards.
Mobile payments have evolved in tandem with smartphones
From US Telecom’s Isis mobile wallet, to the more successful Google Wallet, the journey towards mobile payments’ eventual popularity has had significant breakthroughs as well as major setbacks along the way. However, mobile wallets became popular in 2014 when Apple launched Apple Pay on its smartphones. Later, many of Apple’s competitors offered their own mobile payment platforms, such as Android Pay, Samsung Pay, and Microsoft Wallet.
In the initial days of mobile payments, some companies saw the digitalization of an average payment card onto a mobile device as the endgame. They predicted that the convenience it offered would lead to mass uptake, instantly. However, the reality is that most users expected more than what these companies were providing, including the ability to make contactless payments. Consequently, these wizened players have now realized that further incentives are required to fuel mass adoption of mobile payments.
Today, customers are spoilt for choices as the number of e-payment platforms have increased dramatically. Players like PayPal, Venmo, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are busy reshaping the landscape of this dynamic speciality.
Convenience meets speed and security
As almost everyone in the world is using a mobile device that runs on either iOS or Android, the integration of a built-in mobile payment system would be too tempting to ignore. Additionally, the all-new breakthrough mobile payment systems that are equipped with cutting-edge technologies are more secure than EMV and traditional payment methods, thus adding to their attraction.
Speed and security to handle the evolving threats across both physical POS systems and e-commerce marketplaces, combined with the skill to process and encrypt massive payment data faster than ever before is driving this latest trend in mobile payments. Consequently, when paying by mobile, all that the user must do is hold his or her smartphone a few centimeters away from the vendor’s POS terminal. The payment is settled using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology that’s ingrained in the mobile and the payment terminal. Easy as that!
Rapid adoption equals more vendors joining the fray
Although tech and payment companies have struggled to define the idea of mobile payments for a long time, 2018 could be the year when every such debate will be conclusively solved. It does not matter how mobile payments are defined as much as it matters that mobile payments determine the future of commerce. It took years and several failed innovations to get here- and finally, the time is right for the mass adoption of this revolutionary concept.
The right blend of security, technology, and API integration is creating a new path for consumers as well as merchants who look to stay ahead of the mobile payments’ innovation curve. In 2018, smartphones will shape the e-commerce marketplaces and retail industry faster than ever, with integrated payments solutions paving the way for traders to leap into the extremely lucrative future.