Near-field communications and smartphones are about to take the cashless society to a new level
New smartphones are about elevate the cashless society to a new level.
IF 2014 was the year of the smartphone, 2015 is shaping up as the year when paying by mobile phone will become part of our daily lives.
Over the past 18 months Australia has embraced contactless payment systems such as PayPass, PayWave and other near-field communication related technologies. The ending of signatures in August pushed the laggards to get PIN’s and replacement cards that feature the latest security technology. This year also saw mobile payments made directly from Smartphones using NFC (and stickers) by banks such as Commonwealth Bank and Westpac have been increasingly gaining traction during 2014. Now that is all about to be turbocharged. Apple launched Apple Pay in April, its attempt to catch-up and gain dominance in the mobile payments market. It was launched in partnership with Visa and MasterCard and will be rolled out across millions of stores worldwide over the coming months but some US chains such as Walmart have said they will not support it as they want to develop their own.
Then there was last month’s big launch of the iPhone 6. With Apple pre-selling four million of the new phones worldwide and selling millions more in stores over the past month, this is all about to populate the mobile payments world with many millions of devices – and, more importantly, give consumers a crash course on mobile payments.
The launch of Apple Pay also included a feature that no-one could have foreseen – tokens. Think of a token as an ondemand (generated by you) additional credit card number you can use for a specific purpose, online purchases or even at a specific store. Tokens can be set to expire after a single purchase and revoked at any time. This is a significant move forward in security with Visa, MasterCard and American Express supporting the platform.
Apple Pay will kick-start the NFC payment revolution that will see most of us using our smartphones to complete purchases by the end of 2015 – if not sooner.
As part of the Apple Pay platform, Apple also announced at the launch a partnership with hotel chain Starwood (Westin, Sheraton, W) where you will be able to use your iPhone 6 or an Apple Watch to open your hotel room. Expect more product and more hotels to come on board quickly so they can remain part of the “cool club”. This has significant potential for many other business applications – cinema tickets, airline boarding passes and public transport, for example. I see a massive number of accessories being released such as door locks, car-key replacements, swipe cards (like you have at the office – but as an app on your phone), and anything that uses NFC technology today. The new generation smart phones are not just about making contact but they are changing the way we do business.