Dear Diary: Placing Bets on Mobile Payments

Dear Diary,

Anyone who has ever talked to me about when I do for a living, has probably gotten an ear full about my stance on the rapidly changing payment landscape. I am a self-proclaimed mobile payment enthusiast, and proud of it. That being said, every CEO and their mother has their own opinion on how they believe payments will evolve over the course of months to years. I believe the world needs a peon’s perspective, and the justifications behind it, because let’s face it, peons run the world, not CEOs (I’m sure there are CEO’s that would argue against that, but that conversation is for a different day).

There are so many potentially HUGE players in the mobile payment industry, from CurrentC to CU Wallet to Google Wallet, backing just one of these progressive companies is a real gamble. Fortunately, that is what I’m going to do today, place my bet, and I am going to double down on Apple Pay.
To preface my opinions, it is naive to think that there will be only one victor in this battle, however I do believe Apple Pay has what it takes to set the foundation for and shape the future of the mobile payment industry.

Without further ado here the three P’s of Apple Pay’s potential payment success.

The Protection – Mobile payments as a whole, offer an increased level of data security while processing and transmitting data. Apple Pay’s use of biometrics AND tokenization create unique layering of security. Additionally, tokenization delivers a solution to consumers who are concerned about merchant security by promising to not hold or transmit any raw consumer data. Admittedly, as the bad guys get smarter, Apple Pay will have to adapt and invent additional layers of security to continue to protect consumers, but with Apple’s smarts and innovative practices, I don’t find that to be something that will be an issue any time soon.

The Process – Human beings, by way of evolutionary necessity, are innately creatures of habit. Our current payment process/system is ingrained in our brains. We systematically reach for our debit cards, swipe them through a POS terminal when prompted, follow the same cues, and complete a transaction. To upend the payment system, and override such an established habit, the payment process needs to become substantially easier and more efficient. This is where Apple really shines.

Apple Pay is by far the most consumer conscious mobile payment system utilizing NFC technology. It’s easy, clean, and actually time efficient when making a payment considering 90% of us walk around with our phones seemingly attached to our palms. It’s tailored and designed for consumer use, and it shows.

CurrentC’s use of QR codes make this payment method cumbersome. Unfortunately while a large group of merchants is concentrating it’s time to inserting CurrentC into the lives of consumers to avoid paying interchange fees, and thusly creating a larger stock pile of capital for themselves, they are forgetting that complicating the payment process with drive consumers away from using it.

If the payment industry really thinks consumers are willing to shred their current plastics in favor of fumbling with a complicated phone app, they’ve got another thing coming.

The People – Hear me out. As I stated above, upending the current payment system, is a MAJOR undertaking. Companies have been trying for years to integrate mobile solutions into consumer transactions with little to no progress. Suddenly, Apple Pay comes along, and it’s a whole new ball game. Why? Brand loyalty. Apple’s cult following.

Apple’s brand is so captivating, that those dedicated to it, are willing to buy and try almost anything stamped with the iconic partially devoured fruit. They have the consumer base that believes so wholeheartedly in their mission, that they may actually initiate this type of drastic change in our current payment system. Belief and commitment to a vision is enough to change routine, but it will take time and repetition to actually make an impact in the wider world.

There are so many other reasons I’m betting on Apple to be the consistent front runner in the mobile payments industry, but these three major factors that I believe are going to make the difference in their success over others. This race for change is extremely exciting and it never ceases to amaze me rapidly the payment world is shifting. I can’t wait to see the outcome, collect my winnings, and double down on the next big thing.

–The Peon