Waves of Change for Payments
By Randy Vanderhoof, Secure Technology Alliance
The 10th Annual Smart Card Alliance Payments Summit was in full swing this week with packed sessions across three tracks—payments solutions, payments technology and transportation payments—during which experts delved into hot topics influencing the payments space today.
One of the overarching themes that ran through many of the sessions was how to adapt to the wave of change. All of the different sectors of the payments industry are looking forward to new visions for the future of payments and trying to make those visions a reality.
Here are highlights of what lies on the path ahead:
Invisible Transaction Experience
Speakers stressed the need for a transparent transaction and a frictionless consumer experience as keys to moving mobile payments and other innovations forward. In the case of mobile payments, speakers said there has to be a clear value for both the merchant to be willing to accept the mobile payment, and for the consumer to be willing to use it. The stakes are clear: First Annapolis shared research that shows mobile payments are on an upward trajectory, with adoption up to 75 percent in January 2017, from 40 percent in May 2015.
Payments: The Key to Seamless Transit
Another hot topic at the event was the future of payments in transit. Panel speakers outlined a vision for a seamless, easy and convenient experience for their riders and said the key to making this a reality is making payments unobtrusive. Though there remains much work to do in this space, speakers see multimodal payments convergence, or the integration of payment services for any type of transportation, as the solution, and pointed to a recent Secure Technology Alliance white paper that explores real-world implementations of this model in practice today.
EMV Migration Is Progressing, but not Finished
The migration to EMV chip technology in the U.S. is moving forward. The Strawhecker Group reported new data showing that 52 percent of merchants today are enabled for the anti-fraud transactions. And in a candid discussion on the EMV journey in this country, U.S. Payments Forum members representing the issuer, acquirer, merchant, card services and terminal vendor groups reflected on technical, business and regulatory challenges they overcame since the rollout began, and what they are doing to support the remaining financial institutions, merchants and software providers with their EMV adoption. A few of the forum’s ongoing priorities around EMV include enablement at the ATM and fuel pumps, small merchant implementations, and pay-at-the-table acceptance experiences.
With so much change and innovation impacting the payments industry, taking time to gather with payments stakeholders is critical to finding new ways to overcome challenges impacting the adoption, security and usability of emerging and developing payments technologies. I look forward to seeing how the visions shared at the event this week will play a role in shaping the future.
Randy Vanderhoof is executive director of the Secure Technology Alliance, a not-for-profit, multi-industry association of over 200 member firms working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, and widespread application of smart card technology in North America and Latin America. Prior to joining the Secure Technology Alliance, he spent a majority of his professional career in management positions with a number of global organizations involving smart card identity and payments technology including IBM Global Smart Card Solutions, First Access, Inc., and Schlumberger (now Gemalto). He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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