Creating A Digital Payments Roadmap
By MEC — December, 2016
It takes time for human behavior to catch up with rapid technological change. Consumers rely on engineering and design visionaries to show us the future since we ourselves can only see so far. As Henry Ford put it, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
Despite ready roads and a need for faster transportation, Ford’s Model T took 15 years to catch on and digital payments face a similar challenge. Mobile wallets and Near-Field Communication (NFC) terminals abound and 56% of U.S. consumers1 know they can use their smartphone to transact. In Q4 20152, analysts predicted that mobile payments in the U.S. would triple in 2016 and anyone who has observed the haphazard attempt to modernize existing analogue point of sale systems would believe it. Once you experience the painful process of inserting a chip card into an EMV terminal, tapping to pay makes a lot more sense.
Yet traditional currency still rules, with 60% relying on cash, 58% on debit and 53% on credit cards as their primary means of payment3. So what’s the hold up?
We know from experience that innovation is, more often than not, a waiting game. It helps put things in perspective to consider the early days of online e-com—Amazon, for example, launched in 1995 but did not turn a profit until 20034 when online shopping went mainstream. There are clear signs that we are observing payments evolving in a similar fashion (albeit somewhat faster—thanks to Moore’s Law) with mobile sparking an inevitable shift from traditional currencies to a holistically digital payments ecosystem.
In this Spotlight On Creating a Digital Payments Roadmap, MEC examines the current state of the market, including consumer attitudes, behaviors and emerging technologies, and provides brands with guidelines for making the shift to cashless commerce.
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