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Blog: VISA Predicts A Mobile Payments Explosion

09/06/2015

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The number of businesses accepting mobile payments has increased by a huge amount over the past year and this is, of course, as a result of the increase in the number of people using their mobiles, tablets and the like to purchase their goods and services.

The advancement seen in mobile payments technology has been extremely impressive and it is impossible to ignore that this technology is, quite literally, changing the world. However, despite a lot of success the companies responsible for the technology are not sitting back on their laurels and for good reason. The reason being, there are still masses of people not utilising this technology.

So how do these companies plan to reach the, as yet, uninitiated?

Jonathan Vaux, Visa Europe’s Executive Director of Mobile is responsible for making sure more and more customers begin to use their mobile devices to pay for their goods. Something he believes is a very exciting prospect and also entirely possible because the technologies being introduced can now be fully supported by a reliable infrastructure.

There have been a number of new mobile payment systems introduced recently, with Apple Pay perhaps being the most well-known. However, whilst Apple Pay is undoubtedly impressive, it is worth noting that it is actually being supported by technologies that were already in existence.

This proves to be exciting because customers can have faith in what are essentially new and exciting payments systems but systems that are working on proven, safe technology. Only now, made possible with the introduction of these new payment systems, introduced by companies like Apple and Samsung, are customers able to gain the full experience and witness the potential of all of these new technologies.

The draw of companies like Apple and Samsung is strong and as such many new customers will be attracted to using the new mobile payment systems. However, with this continual increase in usage comes the task for Visa to keep up with the tech changes and ensure they provide everyone with as smooth and user-friendly experience as possible.

Mr Vaux sees the importance of this, stating: “For us, it’s about how do we, as an organisation, adapt and change and make sure that we are enabling and supporting that rate of change.” He added: “If you get payment wrong, it’s really bad – but if you get it right, you can drive a really good customer experience!”

Vaux recognises that a key drawback and challenge facing people when it comes to adopting mobile payments is the mental hurdle of overcoming the fact that we could potentially pay for something that costs us hundreds of pounds one moment and then the next, go back to checking Facebook, playing chess or even Candy Crush!

At the moment those using mobile payments tend not to have the expectation to pay for “big dollar” items but use the systems to pay for small transactions instead, although this is not to say this won’t change in the coming months and years as people become more comfortable with mobile payments. 

Many have stated they believe traditional payment methods such as cheques and cash will fade away soon, as technologies such as mobile payments take over, however, Vaux believes this is not yet the case, stating that: “Cash and cheques still remain around in some markets…so I don’t think we’ve reached a tipping point yet.”

“Yet” is the operative word, however, since there is no doubt that as more and more merchants start to accept the new technologies, their customers will be sure to follow. Mobile payments have proved incredibly easy to use, not to mention convenient and with tech giants doing their utmost to ensure customers’ sensitive data is secure, there should now be nothing holding people back from using mobile payment systems.

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