Blog: Consumers To Use Contactless Payments, Biometrics & Wearable Tech in 2015



Is it the beginning of the end for cash as we know it?

Many of us have long predicted that physical money has not got much longer in this new technical, innovative world of ours and it seems the year 2015 may well hold the fate of our coins and notes in its hands.

Consumers are continuously looking for easier and faster ways to spend their money and this means retailers have to fall in, which in turn, means changing the way they accept money. So what have we seen recently and what are we going to see in 2015 that will transform the payments industry, leading to many experts foreshadowing that cash is on its way out?

  1. Smartphone wallets

A number of people have already grasped the concept of their smartphone replacing their wallet, however, for the vast majority, this concept is still to take off. However, with the number of smartphones increasing by a huge extent year on year, and with Near Field Communication and technology such as Apple Pay, Google Wallet and PayPal, becoming easier, faster and more secure, mobile payments will surely become an everyday occurrence.

  1. Contactless transactions

The trend to pay for goods via contactless transactions has seen huge growth in the past sixth months and again, it is unlikely that consumers will slow this trend down. Contactless is faster and above all, it is easier. We are, after all a rather lazy species so anything that can make the often laborious payment process simpler and less time-consuming is a major bonus!

This year sees an increase in the amount which can be spent (in one transaction) to £30, so it will come as no surprise to see the popularity of contactless transactions grow even more throughout 2015.

  1. Competitive payment providers arise!

Everyone is aware that the western world of banking dominates the payment provider industry. However, as China continues to grow and become an undeniable global powerhouse, its payment providers are beginning to take on its western competitors.

With providers such as UnionPay, Alipay and TenPay growing the number of cards they have in circulation, China’s providers are most certainly gaining influence across the globe and this is only set to continue in 2015.

  1. Biometric explosion

Many people will have already experienced a form of biometrics, for instance a fingerprint scanner (as on the iPhone) in order to authorise a log in or a payment. However, the UK has not quite experienced the same levels of growth in biometrics as Asia has done.

The popularity of biometrics in Asia saw enormous growth throughout 2014 and this is most certainly having an effect in the UK, especially as security measures for biometrics have seen vast improvement recently. Again, consumers are taking to biometrics technology with fervour not only because it is seen as more secure but because it is easier and faster!

  1. Wearable technology

Wearable technology is set to become widely available this year. Some will have experienced wearable tech already, perhaps in the form of a smart watch (Apple Watch or Android Wear), however, competition has not quite reached the point yet where wearable tech can be truly classed as ‘affordable’.

Brands other than Apple and Google will enter into the market in 2015 and this will lead to increasingly competitive pricing, as well as other innovative wearable technologies coming to market, something that will benefit each and every one of us, whether you’re a consumer or a business!

2015 looks to be shaping up to be a truly remarkable, technology inspired year. So…with all of the above, who truly needs cash in their wallet anymore?

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