A loaded headline, we must admit. So, what exactly are mobile payments? And how has it become “a thing” so quickly that we’re now discussing its transition to wearable integration?
As we look into the future, consumers are seeing a host of payment possibilities that extend beyond the plastic in their wallets. The question now is how to enable connected devices to be payment ones.
The proliferation of the wearables market is astounding, and sales are expected to skyrocket 5 fold over the next 3 years. It’s a market that targets those who want to reduce reliance on their smartphone’s evil little red notifications. Ever pulled out your phone to check a message and ended up getting distracted by Facebook, email, or Whatsapp? Yeah, the rest of the world too.
Payment companies want to help extend the payment experience to keep its customer more informed, mainly by providing location and behavioral information. Wearables offer new ways to learn more about who you are as a paying customer. As their name implies, they’re constantly with you, unlike the apps on your mobile phone.
Apple Watch, for example, seeks to increase customer engagement by providing friendly financial guidance. The watch could pop up and say “Hey there Phil, you’ve spent $140 on coffee this month – maybe a bit much, don’t you think?” Possibly the creepiest notification ever – or is it?
Credit card companies want to simplify your wallet and make sure you never forget to use the right (their) card. For example, imagine you always use your delta rewards card at restaurants to rack up points. It could be automatically served up as a payment option on your smart wearable device when you arrive, based on your location and past behavior.
Don’t ditch the wallet just yet – there’s still a long way to go.