There’s a huge chance that you’ve noticed a trend on just released or soon-to-be released smartphones. And I’m not talking about 4G. More smartphones are coming pre-packaged with mobile payment capabilities, either via apps or Near Field Communication technology. Some consumers are still a bit apprehensive about mobile payments, as they deem it’s not secured enough. But one thing can’t be denied–there’s a huge potential for convenience with mobile payments built into our consumer experience.
A lot of companies are adopting one mobile payment system or another so let’s take a look at their progress.
Payments and money transfer company PayPal struck a partnership with Discover Financial Services which would allow Discover shoppers to use their PayPal accounts while shopping. The deal is expected to intensify competition in the payments sector and will give Discover the edge over competition such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, as the tie-up is expected to drive more consumers to their yard. PayPal is the most recognized mode of online payment internationally but the question now is, will people be inclined to use their PayPal accounts offline?
“Although the deal improves PayPal’s acceptance, PayPal still faces challenges in convincing its online customers to use PayPal offline in our view, especially given a lack of marginal benefit beyond convenience,” wrote Bryan Keane, an analyst at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., in a research note.
Earlier this month, mobile payments start-up Square and Starbucks entered into a partnership that would make Square the default payments processing terminal in all Starbucks coffee houses in the United States. The partnership will allow Square to process all credit and debit card transactions and soon, Starbucks patrons may pay for their caramel macchiato just by saying their name to the barrista. Starbucks recently upgraded their Android app which allowed customers to reload their Starbucks credit via PayPal. This new partnership with Square may soon take a toll on PayPal’s partnership with Starbucks.
MasterCard’s contactless payment PayPass is gaining traction as more stores around the world are now letting their consumers experience the ease of contactless payments. Australian supermarket operator, Coles, installed PayPass across 749 of their stores, allowing consumers to transact without having to enter their personal identification number or signing anything. Banco Nacional de México and MasterCard introduced contactless payment in Mexico for Banamex credit and debit cards. This would allows shoppers to enjoy contactless payments in over 12,000 retail stores in Mexico City and surrounding metropolitan area.
Earlier this month, Google announced that all major credit and debit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover, are now supported by Google Wallet but was quickly debunked by American Express, which stated that they never entered into any agreement or partnership with Google as they deem the mobile wallet not yet secure enough.
The preemptive move by Google Wallet was an effort to establish a broad and highly accessible payments service, which is stretching its distribution through retailers and OEMs alike. But Google Wallet hasn’t reached the point of default service that it would like, despite its Android platform being used on the majority of smartphones in the market, and being a major player and early supporter in this space.