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The Present & Future of Mobile Payments

While not universally adopted, the ability to make payments from a mobile device (and through an app on that mobile device) has been a game-changer for the payments industry. The adaption to mobile payments not only changes consumer spending habits, but alters the way merchants do business. Here are the major players in the mobile payments landscape:

DIGITAL WALLETS
Apple Pay
With the introduction of Apple Pay in 2014, paying from your phone has never been easier. Apple’s digital wallet allows consumers to store all credit cards and pay directly from their phone.

Samsung Pay
The long awaited response to Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, was released in 2015. It now rivals Android Pay, which can be used across Android devices, as the primary digital wallet for the android operating system.

PEER TO PEER PAYMENT 
Venmo has become the default payment option for groups of friends - everything from roommates splitting bills, or divvying up a bar tab. Likewise, with Google Wallet you can pay anyone with an email address or phone number.
 
SOCIAL PAYMENTS
In a natural next step, Facebook now allows a variety of in-app payments. The Messenger service now permits peer to peer payments, and “Donate Now” or “Purchase” buttons from charities or retail merchants are tied to an individual account’s payment method. Similarly,Twitter now offers features a Buy Now button.

So what’s next for mobile payments? 

In early February 2016, Visa launched a program called Visa Developer. The program gives third-party access to Visa payment capabilities, so that financial institutions and merchants can meet the demands of mobile payments.

If they haven’t already, merchants should adapt to the mobile wallet. Not only does it cut processing fees and lower fraud, but with a mobile wallet, merchants can offer coupons, discounts, and cater the shopping experience to the consumer in a unique way. 

Loyalty is key. Starbucks leads the pack with a wildly successful loyalty program that offers not only reward tracking, but in-app payment. While it’s unlikely any company will top Starbucks, it’s an exciting race to watch. Developing a loyalty application is a great way to engage consumers.  

So are you ready to make the switch to all-digital? Mobile payments are definitely the future and it’s wise to get ahead of the curve, rather than catch-up. Keep in mind that these technologies are constantly evolving. Stay tuned to the PEX blog for the latest. We also enjoy reading Mobile Payments Today. At the time of this writing, Apple Pay was experiencing a major outage between its digital wallet users and Visa. Don’t toss your plastic just yet.

See how the automated features in the PEX platform can help you turn spending into your advantage.

 

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