The release of Cortex MCP’s White Paper, “A Solution to the Mobile Wallet Conundrum”, has invited discussion on whether mobile payment technology will ever become the definitive method of making a purchase.
Underpinning such a prospect is the question of whether traditional transaction methods will be superseded by the advent of mobile payment.
Although the technology industry is notorious for unforgiving product lifecycles, it is sometimes surprising how long technologies endure. In the 90s the magstripe was deemed to be history with the launch of the EMV chip card, but not only are they present on our cards today, they are still the primary method of transaction in the United States. Even technology like the manual imprinter, these days deemed archaic, is yet to be rendered entirely obsolete.
Compete or Coexist?
Of course, it is understandable that the prospect of change is disarming to some consumers but the shift from old to new need not be a competition, rather a co-existence. These progressions don’t signal the end for older, established technology; payment cards and mobile payment technology can sit side by side comfortably.
Such harmony will be achieved by ensuring correlation between the two methods, both for those using and those implementing the technologies. For example, there need be no change in acquiring systems on the merchant’s side, and for consumers the process of completing a mobile payment transaction is not dissimilar to the “tap” of contactless bank cards.
To put it plainly, the discussion around whether cards will become obsolete is futile. Payment cards will continue to be a permanent fixture in the wallets of consumers, but we should also look to the extra convenience and value that mobile payments can bring to the table.