There’s been a lot of talk about mobile payments recently and the competition is hotting up.
In mid February Barclays launched their free Pingit app in the UK. Pingit enables Barclays current account holders with a smartphone to transfer up to £300 to friends, family and small businesses, by using the near field communication functionality built into their mobile device. They can also receive funds too, as can non-Barclays account holders. That means no more fumbling for the £10 you borrowed from your friend in the pub – now your smartphone can sort that out.
In January this year Visa announced that Samsung, LG and Research In Motion will use their payWave mobile application for point-of-sale payments. Then there’s Google Wallet. Google have teamed up with MasterCard using PayPass contactless technology.
So what’s in it for the customer? OK, there’s the convenience of not having to swipe a card or use chip and pin, but what about mobile payment security, accuracy of billing and charges? Who will deal with the inevitable demand that this new technology will generate? You guessed it, the good old contact centre. How long before we have the banks blaming the mobile phone manufacturers and vice versa for mishaps? I hope some serious thought has been put into the customer experience design. Great having whizzy technology in my local shop, but what if I don’t undertsand or agree with my statement?
Will these be services that in 5 years time we won’t remember how we ever lived without them? Or, will good old fashioned customer frustration, data security fears and infrastructure costs, particularly for retailers, slow down the take up or even thwart them in their tracks?