The payment space has become quite active over the past year and looks to be increasingly more so in 2013. David Marcus, the President of PayPal, offered up his thoughts about where the industry was going to go. He believed that the momentum it’s seen in 2012 will continue as people begin to change the way that they exchange and spent their money. Regardless of the solutions out in the market today, Marcus says that one insight remains “robustly true”: people love shopping, but hate paying.
He focused on four main points, including the failure of near-field communications, or NFC, the merging of payments, loyalty, and coupon businesses, the rise of the mobile cash register, and how experiences will be taken beyond the check-in.
Failure of NFC
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Near-field communications is a mobile standard used by devices to help establish radio communications with one another through the use of proximity. Within the commerce space, contactless payment systems are starting to be used — perhaps most notably by Google Wallet. Marcus doesn’t believe that this is a viable thing and that tapping a phone on a terminal isn’t more efficient than swiping a credit card. He believes it’s not really solving a real consumer problem nor is it adding any value to change.
Merging payments, loyalty, and coupon businesses
In the next year, payments will merge with loyalty and rewards in order to let customers focus on the things they want the most. With Apple’s introduction of its Passbook service, finding ways to have a one-stop shop to do all your business has become pretty fascinating. Marcus says that the digital wallet must do more than simply being a way to pay for things — it should “remove complexity from your life, not increase it.”
In the upcoming year, he believes that payments will “finally” merge with loyalty and rewards, making it easy for consumers and businesses to leverage coupons and offers that work for everyone.
The mobile cash register
We’ve already begun seeing this with PayPal, Square, Venmo, and all the other mobile payment services. Businesses are eager to help make it easier for customers to get in and get out with as less stress as possible. In this new commerce world paradigm, Marcus believes that all transactions done at the checkout will be transmitted to servers through the Internet and free up the sales associates to be more attentive to the customers.
Now that they’re more mobile, sales associates can help customers check out and pay from right where they are instead of forcing them to queue up in line to pay at a register.
Beyond the check-in
Make sure you check in to a store and you’ll get a coupon for 5% off — this is one of the ways to entice a customer to shop at a business. Some might think it more of a novelty service. Marcus thinks there’s more to it and sees promise in it. In 2012, Apple’s Passbook has helped evolve it and he says that being aware of one’s location, the shopping and payments experience will be more context-relevant and will change the experience for the consumer.
Photo credit: PayPal