As payments technology expands, with contactless payments poised to become the standard during 2015, this year has revealed some potential predictors concerning the future of mobile payments.
Apple Pay, for example, was met with welcomes from some retailers and was shunned by others, and some analysts predict that these bankless systems could be the next big thing for billions around the globe.
According to Walter Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute and Steve Jobs’s biographer, the 68 million U.S. citizens and 2.5 billion people worldwide who operate without access to a bank may begin taking advantage of mobile payments as a quick and easy way to make purchases both in-person and online.
Isaacson also said the lack of banking options for some could prompt many more companies to develop their own electronic payment systems to meet this demand.
Because it can take up to four days to move money through checks and credit cards, which come with transaction costs, Isaacson predicts that these inconveniences will continue the growth of mobile payments and digital currencies.
Isaacson isn’t alone in his assessments. The Federal Reserve recently completed a study that found that many “unbanked” customers already use their smartphones to process financial transactions.
“The growth of mobile payments, as well as contactless payments will definitely continue to shape the payment landscape in 2015. We are seeing more companies starting to develop their own mobile payment apps in order to take advantage of the potentially trillion dollar global industry,” says Jordan Rinaldo, Marketing Manager, BNA Smart Payment Systems Ltd. “It is yet to be seen how quickly Canada and the United States will grow throughout 2015, but it is clear that the payment landscape is definitely being shifted towards mobile payments.”
In fact, such systems will even be the topic of discussion at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, with a future of mobile payments conference headed by experts from MasterCard, Coinbase and LoopPay.
Mobile payments may also have the opportunity to grow as contactless card infrastructures continue to face scrutiny.
London-based firm RBR issued its report on contactless and mobile payments, entitled “Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts 2013-2019,” and predicts that some European countries could bypass contactless payments in favor of mobile payments instead.
RBR reports that by the end of 2013, there were 133 million contactless cards in Europe alone. The firm predicts that Belgium and Germany may be more likely to move straight to mobile payments, especially for low-value purchases. For now, however, contactless cards are seen as a step toward mobile systems.