CNP Expo: Predicting a Mobile Technology Winner

May 21, 2013

As smartphones become more widespread, the number of mobile wallet apps is becoming more prolific as well. But which version of mobile wallet technology will move forward? KOBIL Technologies’ Director of Business Development Don Malloy pinpointed the three considerations for customers when it comes to mobile wallet payments: convenience, cost, and data security. And, these are prioritized differently in different markets.

“In the U.S.,” Malloy said, “convenience tends to rule the day, but in Europe, security is paramount.”

So understanding what the average consumer in a particular market will be comfortable with in regard to these three areas will be key to succeeding in the mobile wallet marketplace.

MagTek CEO Mimi Hart noted that the winning technology will ultimately be a combination of convenience, cost, and privacy: “Customers want secure, convenient transactions. If your fraud prevention system makes the transaction less convenient than a simple card swipe, where’s the benefit to the customer?”

The panelists questioned the convenience of disruptive technologies like chip cards, which require the consumer to learn an entirely new behavior (holding their card in place for several seconds rather than swiping it) to effect a transaction. Not only is this a nuisance, but it also leads the failure of many transactions and can even damage the payment terminal. Ultimately, Shaunt Sarkissian, CEO of Cortex MCP, concluded, “any system that asks customers and merchants to jump through too many hoops or entirely relearn typical checkout behaviors will fail.”

Hart suggested that the emerging technology that will succeed is the one that will “make shopping online and on my mobile device as fast and easy as when I swipe my card at the brick-and-mortar store. Entering all of my personal information, and my card number, and on and on, it’s a hassle. We’re not there yet, but eliminating that will be the way forward.”