Oct 9, 2006

People that leave home with their keys and cell phone, but leave their wallets behind

"When you're looking at payment devices, and you're looking at payments in general, you just want to find that thing that you never leave home without. I always have my keys, I always have my cell phone, and I always have my thumb. Those will be the things that will indicate where payment technology will go." (Bank of America credit card executive, interviewed in an article in a Wilmington, Delaware newspaper)

“I also always have my wallet!” (Payments News response, commenting on that same article)

Now there's a micro niche: create a payment product for all those people that want to run around outside with their keys and cell phone and go shopping without their wallets.

The same BofA executive makes another interesting statement: "If you're fighting against checks and cash, what do you have to do to win? Making it faster would be a way to win, making it more convenient would also be a way to win because carrying around checks and cash is not that convenient."

How about making payment cards much more attractive to merchants so they actively encourage cardholders to stop using cash and checks? Merchants pay banks $40 billion a year in interchange but virtually nobody is putting any energy into innovation that protects that industry. Instead, innovation is addressed at that very tiny fringe segment of people that leave home without their wallet.


Kelly said...

I didn`t get the idea how and what should be done to protect merchant industry? If there is a real inconvenience for them that customers pay in cash?

Aneace Haddad said...

I'm not sure I understand your comment. It is not at all a question of doing something "to protect merchant industry" as you put it. It is a question of protecting the interchange industry, in other words of protecting card issuer revenues. Since merchants pay interchange to card issuers, they need to get more value back for their money. Nothing more complicated than that.