André Stoorvogel, head of marketing at Rambus Bell ID, recently penned an article for FinTech about the future of mobile payments. As Stoorvogel emphasizes, providing consumers with a truly frictionless experience is the “holy grail” of the payments industry.
“This [experience] has already been achieved in-app with platforms such as Uber, but has yet to be translated in-store,” he explained.
“In the IoT era, however, we are moving ever closer to delivering a seamless in-store experience. Beacons, geolocation, computer vision and biometric technologies are being combined to deliver a frictionless experience.”
The industry, says Stoorvogel, will closely be monitoring the success of Amazon Go, which is currently in beta and slated to publicly launch in early 2017. Essentially, Go replaces the traditional checkout lines and registers with a Just Walk Out Shopping experience. Shoppers simply load up the Amazon Go app upon entering the store, take the products they want and go.
In addition to Amazon Go, Stoorvogel expects a slew of mobile payments pilots and demonstrations during 2017. These will aim to move all stages of the in-store payments process – from initialization and authentication, right through to final confirmation – firmly into the background.
“Increased consumer awareness, ever-expanding acceptance and more mature offerings means that the various OEM Pay platforms will continue to go from nascent to mainstream in 2017.
The conversation surrounding mobile payments, however, will change,” he noted. “With ‘tap and go’ cultures becoming increasingly engrained, consumers now expect to be able to make contactless payments. The added convenience of paying with your mobile device is no longer the main driver of adoption.”
Instead, says Stoorvogel, the focus is shifting from changing the payments process into a buying experience.
“The key to this is the specific, intelligent deployment of value-added services such as rewards, loyalty and couponing,” he elaborated. “For example, Apple has just partnered with Blackhawk Network to integrate eGifts, loyalty and rewards programs into Apple Pay. And Google has gotten into the festive spirit with Android Pay Christmas Crackers, which delivers rewards to users.”
Moreover, a growing number of retailers are developing their own payment applications to control the payments process and deliver a unique, tailored experience.
“In [parallel], initiatives such as QR code mobile payments are enabling retailers to keep the payment process ‘in-house’ and reduce network fees. QR codes may not necessarily be the future, but the trend of retailers identifying and developing alternative payment channels is here to stay,” Stoorvogel concluded.