Contactless cards, digital wallets, mobile payments…Our purchasing habits are undergoing persistent changes with the advent of innovative technologies. It is expected that mobile payment will be outrunning other payment methods in the near future.
To fan out skepticism and doubts, and to bring answers to users, it is recommended that the latter get to the very core of all the facets of mobile payment to make the most of it and to take cognizance of possible drawbacks.
What is mobile payment?
Equally referred to as mobile wallet, mobile money transfer or mobile money, mobile payment is transaction made from or received by a mobile device. This Point-of-sale (POS) transaction is becoming very popular amongst consumers for its high level of security and unrivaled convenience. The consumer simply has to bring his mobile phone near the retailer’s terminal.
Renowned companies that offer mobile payment solutions are Apple, Samsung, Google, Android, PayPal, and Square. To operate, mobile payment requires Near Field Communication (NFC), Bluetooth, WiFi and Radio Frequency Interference (RFI).
Mobile payment offers numerous advantages
Most fears and concerns regarding mobile payment are generally exaggerated. Unlike other modes of payment, mobile payment offers matchless advantages to both merchants and consumers.
Mobile payments require a one-time unique code- also known as “token”- for each and every transaction. For the time being, transactions amounting below 100 US dollars do not require any PIN or signature. MasterCard, Visa, and Interac offer Zero Liability programs that cover such transactions. New solutions are being developed to secure transactions above 100 US dollars. One example is ApplePay that requires digital fingerprint verification for validation of the transaction.
Mobile payment is the most rapid of all existing payment transactions right now. Simply requiring that the consumer places his mobile phone near the retailer’s terminal, this payment method can be carried out within a few minutes only, with a simple click or tap. Time is hence saved for both consumers and merchants.
The possibility to use one mobile phone to effect payment is utterly convenient. There is no need to carry bulging wallets or to fumble to take out cards for payment. Customers in a hurry do not have to lose time waiting for the transaction to be processed, as if the case with Europay, MasterCard, and Visa (EMV) chip cards or magnetic stripe cards. Mobile payment simply requires a tap or a click for the transaction to be processed.
Mobile payment has equally made online shopping easier. As most websites have mobile-friendly web capabilities and apps, shopping from one’s mobile phone has become very convenient. One example of a successful system is the one-click checkout of Amazon. As certain websites like Airbnb are accepting ApplePay and Android Pay, online shopping through mobile payment has become very easy and fluid.
Transactions carried out through mobile payment remain confidential. Mobile payment companies do not store information regarding the transaction made, which stays between the consumer, the bank and the receiver.
Service providers allow consumers to integrate loyalty cards, loyalty programs, and rewards seamlessly into the mobile payment app.
Mobile payment has few drawbacks
Mobile payment is not 100 percent safe, like any technology. Even if the drawbacks are minimal, users do need to take them into consideration.
Theft or loss
It is likely that users lose their mobile phones or have them stolen. As certain apps offer sheer customer convenience through options like saved personal data not requiring any PIN, it is possible that a thief may get access to personal sensitive data.
In cases of device failure due to battery drain or other reasons, your transactions will be blocked.
Terms and conditions
Certain users may make payments without reading terms and conditions of the transaction that may appear in very small letters on a mobile screen.
Understanding from the perspective of merchants
Merchants have shown dissatisfaction to card fees and rules up to now. As such, the advent of mobile payment certainly generated positive responses from their side. First of all, as the POS terminal supporting chip cards and contactless payment are the same, the need to invest further in equipment does not arise. Mobile payment also caters for anywhere-anytime clients, hence allowing merchants to reinforce their marketing strategy.
Mobile payment is growing steadily in Canada
Even if mobile payment has piqued the interest of consumers and merchants, a report published by Canadian Bankers Association reveals that only 57 percent of consumers are keen to adopt mobile payment right away. However, 23 percent strongly believe that we will transform into a cashless global society within ten years.
Since Canada is a mature market and is one of the countries with the largest number of users having embraced contactless payment, it is certain that mobile payment is not going to lag behind. Already, Paytm, the biggest mobile payment provider in India, has recently launched the Paytm Canada app. The mobile payment app will allow consumers to pay for electricity, the internet, cable TV, water, insurance and property taxes apart from usual payment of cell phones. The app will be available on iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices.
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