Apple has decided to occupy a timid role in the mobile payment world, albeit for a temporary amount of time. This assumed plan is to allow competitors to compete over market share while Apple performs its own research and learns from its rivals’ initial mistakes. Their entry to the mobile payments world, the Passbook app, is comparatively basic by only storing digital loyalty cards, tickets, and boarding passes but omits the storage of credit card info. Little suggests that this will change in the future.
Apple engineers decided on the Passbook software because it allows the company to profit from each payment made through the service, much like their iTunes business model. By not utilizing a full-fledged wallet app Apple avoids the possibility of becoming a “bank”, which the sheer complexity of project may have required.
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Regardless of their current position, it is unlikely that Apple will ignore the mobile payment market for much longer. With mobile sector projections hitting as high as $600 billion worldwide by 2016, it is clear that at some point, Apple will dive into the market head first.
Mobile commerce is certainly on the rise and 2012 should be a banner year for e-commerce company eBay. According to CEO John Donahoe during a speech in Las Vegas at the CES Conference in early January, the company is forecasting $8 billion in total mobile commerce, with $7 billion attributed to mobile payments. Donahoe also noted PayPal’s above expected 2011 mobile payment results of $4 billion, all pointing to the rising importance of mobile payments for the company as a whole.
According to PayPal’s (a subsidiary of eBay) Senior Director of Global Communications and Experiential Marketing Amanda Pires, their mobile payment numbers can be attributed to an achieved level of trust for both the PayPal and eBay brands. “Consumers are increasingly choosing eBay mobile and PayPal mobile because we provide a great shopping experience and a fast, highly secure way to pay,” she said. ”With millions of customers globally, the brands are already trusted online so it makes sense consumers would choose eBay and PayPal on their mobile phones.”
With more than 17 million users currently using PayPal mobile payment services, up from 8 million posted in June 2011, the company is well positioned to capitalize on the mobile payment trend. This coupled with an increasing line-up of top retailers, including Starbucks and Fandango, has enabled the company to further develop its POS scan applications for smart devices along with other mobile payment options, including a pilot project launched in Sweden using NFC technology. There are lots more to come from both eBay and PayPal, stay tuned.
It is estimated that 2.5 billion adults worldwide do not have access to standard financial products and services. Traditional money transfers and pre-paid credit cards are helping to bridge this gap and offer consumers convenient, low-cost options for financial services.
Western Union and MasterCard have recognized this need and see an opportunity to develop a crossover network between both companies’ electronic payment networks. Over the last year, both companies have been collaborating to develop a partnership that would see MasterCard become the pre-paid card of choice for Western Union and Western Union the preferred money transfer solution for MasterCard. As such, cardholders will be able to access these global networks to reload funds at any MasterCard rePower location as well as selected Western Union Agent locations. Consumers using the Western Union money transfer service will also now be able to send funds directly to eligible MasterCard holders, offering a viable, non-cash solution to these financially underserved clients.
According to Hikmet Ersek, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western Union, “This agreement sets the stage to globalize prepaid services. We’re opening up more options for consumers around the world by combining Western Union’s global network of money movement solutions with MasterCard’s world class global electronic payments network.”
“The primary focus of our global partnership is to enable greater financial inclusion for consumers and provide additional electronic payment options that create efficiencies in their daily lives,” said MasterCard President and Chief Executive Officer Ajay Banga. “We look forward to all of the benefits that our partnership will bring to consumers around the world.”
A hot topic heading into 2012 is the emerging technology coined the “mobile wallet” which Visa intends to capitalize on. Expected to launch sometime in late 2012, V.me is the official brand name for their proprietary mobile wallet.
Mobile wallets refer to applications on smart devices that allow users to store debit, credit and prepaid card information to be used for POS or online payment processing. Visa’s hedging on a similar strategy they currently employ with the various banks using the standard credit card service, the V.me mobile wallet will also be made available to companies such as PayPal, ISIS and Google Checkout along with an open beta development platform.
The advantages of a mobile wallet are that they allow customers to shop and purchase without transferring sensitive payment information over to merchants via a standard debit or credit card terminal. This added level of security, combined with the convenience and flexibility of standard payment processing and the ability to shop easily using a mobile smart device, all add up to why mobile wallets are an emerging trend and gaining momentum.
Visa is hoping this trend will continue to develop and take their existing credit and debit card business in new directions. For more info on this platform by Visa, visit www.v.me.
By Evo Canada Merchant Services
Connections are all around us, from daily use of smartphones to highly enabled Web 2.0 sites, people and businesses communicate and transact in more ways than ever before. Many look solely to technological advancement, as the catalyst for innovation but what we often forget is the work that goes on before a new technology comes to life.
A simple idea based on the desire to fulfill a need generally forms the basis for technological advancement. In order to properly understand what needs are left unfilled, one must have a clear understanding of their respective “ecosystem” in order to find solutions to current and/or future problems.
As for payment processing, there are a plethora of options merchants may or may not know are out there and need guidance to decide on what may be the best for their business and customers. Further, more people are interacting and sharing info with brands and products of preference, creating a world of opportunity on how to use this data to connect longer and deeper with customers.
Merchant service providers are at the frontline of technology and understanding the needs of customers. They are trained to be knowledgeable on emerging technology and grasp the fundamentals of each of their client’s “ecosystems” and business infrastructures. As such, they can provide insights into how to optimize payment-processing systems and connect with customers on new levels by incorporating technology.
Work with a merchant service provider more closely and go beyond basic payment processing needs to brainstorm new ideas. Instead of viewing technology as innovation, see it more as a tool for business advancement and get “hyper-connected” to customers sooner.
By Evo Canada Merchant Services
Payment technology is rapidly evolving. As we enter the age of device based forms of payment, such as the mobile wallet, many have raised flags and question the security of information as payment technology continues to advance.
Older POS systems, both hardware and software, still have the ability to adapt and upgrade to new forms of transactions, however the security of data and these revised systems have come into question. The divide sits between a hardware-based system, such as a chip embedded card, versus software-based systems largely on the web, such as PayPal’s new digital wallet and online payment system. Hardware-based systems, chip cards, and mobile wallets on smart devices provide a higher level of data encryption and keep the user’s personal information solely on the card or device. Software systems are a more complicated to encrypt, and are left exposed to the dangers of malicious Internet manipulation.
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It’s still worth remembering that both forms of payment processing are highly secure. The debate lies more in the question of the set-up of a system’s given security measures. All web-based payment programs store personal information in the “cloud”, or a cluster of servers located in a remote warehouse. The issue then becomes about choosing targets: millions and millions of individual cards and devices, or the mass grouping of data housed in one location?
It will be interesting to see how the issue of security will be addressed in the future and whether or not both merchants and individuals will opt for the personal device or card-based options.
Have you ever waited over 30 minutes to pay a restaurant check or walk out of a bar forgetting to pay a tab leaving your credit card and ID behind? Well the latter may not happen as often but the process of paying a restaurant or bar bill can lengthy for both customers and merchants.
Austin, TX based Tabbedout aims to remove the need to exchange money or credit cards all together by launching a new application designed specifically to work with these types of merchants. No longer will you need to wait on a server or remember to collect your cards and tab at the bar, with the Tabbedout application, all payment information is securely stored on your smartphone with the ability to link directly to a Tabbedout supported merchant. All payments go directly to the merchant’s POS system without having to transfer sensitive payment information as with credit or debit cards.
Beyond helping customers keep sensitive payment information securely on their own phone and making the payment process much easier, Tabbedout helps merchants maximize service by eliminating the need for servers to chase after payments and waste time printing out paper bills. Tabbedout also acts as a network linking merchants to customers via the application itself, even when the customer may not be in the restaurant or bar itself. This added feature allows merchants to market new products and services, engage customers with content or simply spread the word about a new menu, drink or event.
Despite only being currently available at select Austin, TX merchants, the Tabbedout platform is an interesting discovery and could pave the way for changing how restaurants and bars do business. For more information on this revolutionary application, visit www.tabbedout.com.
As Web technology continues to improve and offer better online shopping experiences, many people are taking this route to do their shopping and pulling business away from traditional brick and mortar retailers.
In an effort to utilize these same technological advancements, Shopkick, a California based company, is giving retailers a chance to regain those customers by creating a simple rewards program to get people into physical stores. The idea is to reward customers for entering a store, whereby a participating retailer gives points or “kicks” just for walking through the door. Going a step further, through the use of a smartphone, that same physical store becomes interactive with surprise discounts and offers sent while the user is shopping adding a whole new dynamic to the physical retail experience.
The points or “kicks” can be used and redeemed against a number of various products and services such as iTunes gift cards, restaurant vouchers, Facebook credits, appliances and even used to book vacations. Shopkick allows customers to shop freely, earn rewards, access exclusive offers and redeem points for exciting products and services.
Major retailers such as American Eagle, Best Buy, Toys R Us, Target and Macy’s are currently set-up and using the service; recently Shopkick partnered with Visa to offer their rewards program for purchases made with credit or debit card.
Local businesses are on Shopkick’s mind as well, which is why they are launching a new program to select 1000 small businesses to partake in the next phase of the apps development. Sign-up today at www.shopkick.com and perhaps you too can be on your way to driving more store traffic!
EVO Merchant Services Corp.-Canada is proud to report that it continues to experience unprecedented growth in Canada.
Credit and Debit card Processing in 2011 has doubled from 2010 to more than $1 Billion in volume and CAGR new account growth rates are more the 357% over the past two years
Mark Lachance, President of EVO CANADA attributes the phenomenal growth to his teams focus on partnerships with clients.
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“EVO’s goal is to help small business across Canada maximise their profits. Not only can we help them reduce payment processing costs, but we work with our clients to get to know their business and offer them additional products or services that could increase their bottom line” Kevin Lavigne, COO at EVO CANADA adds “our customer centric focus is really the key to our success. We are continually working to provide the newest technology to help our customers. In 2011 we launched the EVO iPhone and iPad credit card acceptance applications, EVO ePay, China Union Pay Card acceptance and a new website and blog to name but a few .The Customer is King is our mantra and we remain focused on continued growth under that vision in 2012.
EVO Merchant Services is in the largest privately held credit card processor in North America. By the end of 2011, EVO will actively service 315,000 merchant customers businesses of all sizes, in various industries, in the US and Canada focusing on the small to midsized merchants.. EVO CANADA is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec and is a “single source” for the full range of electronic payment services. EVO offers several processing options, thus approving 98% of the merchant applications it receives. Visit www.evocanada.com for more information.