On Your Marks! Get Set!! Tap, Pay, Go!
On your marks! Get Set!! Tap, Pay, Go! That is how simple payment is becoming in this new decade. Thanks to digital technology and the evolution of smart devices, ideas and innovations once domiciled in the fantasy realms of Hollywood are becoming an integral part of our everyday realities. New grounds have been broken in the last few years, with many improvements in how we transact from credit cards and debit cards, to reward cards, online payment, mPOS, biometric payment, cryptocurrencies, tokenization, and the adoption of USSD payment solutions. The surge of smart devices and booming e-commerce market have continued to push to limit of payment innovations.
It is predicted that by 2020, more than 50 billion devices (‘things’) will be connected with revenue from IoT forecasted crossing 3 Trillion USD. This rapid adoption of IoT coupled with increases cloud computing capabilities has heralded a new dawn of disruptive innovation in payment technology. The use of mobile wallet which allows customers to seamlessly transfer money is rapidly becoming popular in both developed and developing economy. Opay the Chinese tech giant, took the market by a storm with the massive deployment of payment via QR codes, supported by e-wallets for users within its ecosystem in Nigeria. This month, Ecobank announced the launch of virtual credit cards which allows customers worried about putting their credit cards online to create a virtual card and safely complete the payment online.
The Future of Payment is wearables
The launch of the Near Field Communication Technology opened a new chapter in payment history. The NFC technology gave birth to payment solutions like credits cards, the POS and now payments solutions which have reduced payment to just a tap. The increasing interconnectedness of devices means anything from phones to cars and household appliances can now be used to make payments. Talking about contactless payment, it is expected that the volume of payment via wearables will hit a record $501.1 Billion this year. At the forefront of the wearable payment, adoption are the trio of Apple, Google, and Samsung with Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay respectively.
A key factor in driving the growth of wearable payment innovations in the African market is tapping into consumer appeal. Consumers demand convenient and yet fashionable ways to wear technology and this provides vendors with a great opportunity. Wearables such as smartwatches, fitness bands, bracelets or rings are very fashionable and subtle ways for African consumers to interact with technology. We can also draw inspiration from, for example, Barclays which invented the world’s first contactless jacket. How about adopting contactless payment to locally made fabrics and accessories? The increase in the number of vendors in the wearable economy will deliver more dynamic wearable solutions which will consequently lead to widespread consumer adoption. The coming of age of Gen Z’s many of who are digital-savvy represents a huge opportunity for the growth of contactless payment solutions as they begin to seek for their own financial solutions.
Contactless payment solution presents us with a golden opportunity to fast track transactions in the African market. A practical example is the New York City’s new fare payment system OMNY which saw 10,700 taps in the first weekend. With a single tap, customers saved ample time previously spent on annoyingly long queues at subway stations. Another case in point is Amazon Go Stores where consumers can walk in, pick whatever they want and walk out in record time. With massive investment in turnstiles and terminal readers, financial service providers are now able to improve customer experience and transaction time. The overall effect for African business is reduced processing time and increased efficiencies which will help to bolster our growing economy.
In an age and time where 70% of customers assert that their devices improve the quality of their lives, neglecting wearable devices and contactless payment solution will be like jumping out of an Aircraft at 20,000ft without a parachute for any business operating in Africa.
Emmanuel Aihevba Head, Customer Channels-Personal & Business Banking at Stanbic IBTCBank Nigeria will be addressing the subject – Getting a Grip on the Future of Payments in the Age of Smart Devices at this year’s edition of Payment Innovation Forumhappening from June 16th – 17th, 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya.
miss this great opportunity to learn more about other disruptive innovations in
the payment landscape!