Executive Briefings

Mobile Payments Not Catching On? Just Give Them Time.

Smartphones have yet to displace cash or credit cards at the retail point of sale. But give them time.

To put the waiting game for mobile payments into perspective, consider the history of credit cards. They made their first appearance as Diner's Club Cards in New York City in the 1950s, but it took 28 years for credit cards to be used by 50 million consumers. It took debit cards 12 years and PayPal accounts five years to reach the equivalent penetration level. The same milestone will probably be reached with mobile payments, but to get there, merchants and financial institutions must work together to deliver a seamless experience. Adding further complexity, retailers will need to make a significant investment - an estimated $8bn to $10bn across the industry - to upgrade existing technology.

Countless mobile payment systems are active today - Apple Pay, Google Wallet, the Merchant Customer Exchange CurrentC platform, and so on - but none has yet gained significant traction with merchants or consumers or become the standard for mobile transactions.

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To put the waiting game for mobile payments into perspective, consider the history of credit cards. They made their first appearance as Diner's Club Cards in New York City in the 1950s, but it took 28 years for credit cards to be used by 50 million consumers. It took debit cards 12 years and PayPal accounts five years to reach the equivalent penetration level. The same milestone will probably be reached with mobile payments, but to get there, merchants and financial institutions must work together to deliver a seamless experience. Adding further complexity, retailers will need to make a significant investment - an estimated $8bn to $10bn across the industry - to upgrade existing technology.

Countless mobile payment systems are active today - Apple Pay, Google Wallet, the Merchant Customer Exchange CurrentC platform, and so on - but none has yet gained significant traction with merchants or consumers or become the standard for mobile transactions.

Read Full Article