The key to mass market adoption of mobile payments will be the creation of a compelling consumer experience that incorporates both payments and value added services, the Future of Mobile Payments session at the International CES 2015, chaired by NFC World’s Sarah Clark, has found.
Joining NFC World’s editor were MasterCard’s executive director of digital platforms, Mung Ki Woo; Adam White, director of business development and strategy at Bitcoin wallet provider Coinbase, and Will Graylin, CEO at mobile payments innovator LoopPay.
“The biggest problem with mobile payments to date has been that consumers can’t use it as reliably as their existing wallet,” LoopPay’s Graylin explained. “If you can only use it at 220,000 locations out of 10-plus million in the United States, you’re going to still have to rely on that piece of plastic so you’re not really changing consumer behaviour yet.
“You’re meeting part of that requirement but you’re not meeting the necessary requirements to change consumer behaviour, and that ultimately is the goal that’s necessary for mobile payments to take off.”
“Location-based types of deals and opportunities is really important I think, and integrated rewards,” Coinbase’s White added. “I want to have everything rolled up into one. I also want a price comparison tool. I want everything tied into a nice, neat package. I don’t think we’re there yet and I’m not sure if 2015 is going to bring that.”
“There’s going to be a lot of choices for the wallet itself,” MasterCard’s Woo continued. “I think that the wallet is going to be much more than just an equivalent of your leather container that you have in your pocket. It’s going to be a very rich and very interactive product.”
“It’s a long journey,” Graylin added. “It’s not just about what the industry players within the ecosystem want because everybody wants something a little bit different. We’ve got to focus on what that killer consumer experience is. Does it require work from the entire industry? Sure. But you need a catalyst, that first consumer experience to say yes, this is a good enough digital wallet for me to use and rely on.”
Looking forward to 2020 and the longer-term future of mobile payments, the panel predicted that there will be a wide range of internet-connected devices that consumers will want to pay with and that mobile will continue to play its part.
“What I believe strongly is that we are going to have a lot of devices, we are going to have a lot of internet-connected devices, and one of the things that consumers will want to have around those devices is access to their money,” Woo said. “We will have a MasterCard solution for each one of those devices in 2020.”
“While Bitcoin is very early, it’s been kind of thrust to centre stage as a way to reinvent payments, as a way to reinvent money transfer,” White added. “What that in mind, I think there’s a ton of exciting things that Bitcoin and only Bitcoin can do in 2020. The technologies that tend to be most disruptive are the hardest to imagine five, 10, 15 years out.
“I think Bitcoin is going to have a unique place alongside credit cards, alongside cash and even cheques, but I do think it has the capability to do things that none of us can imagine and that in five years we won’t be able to see ourselves living without.”
The full one-hour session can be viewed on the CES website.