RetailWire often provides interesting insight into what retailers think about subjects that are dear to many of us in the payment industry. Two recent online discussion topics relate to mobile payment.
The first one (“What can we learn from Japan's mobile wallet challenges?”) essentially discusses an article in last month’s Card Technology Magazine which highlights hurdles to mobile payment adoption in Japan, a country seen as the earliest adopter of this technology.
Check it out if you would like a glimpse into how retailers think about all this new stuff. They are talking among themselves, so the comments are not as harsh and strident as they might be if they were talking to bankers about things like interchange fees.
While the comments are generally positive on the overall idea of paying with a mobile phone, they also raise major issues which need to be resolved before retailers will adopt the technology.
Here’s a very quick glance at some of the comments:
“Cell phone payment systems will be quickly adopted in the U.S. if retailers can save money compared to credit cards.”
“I believe the very public TJX data breech may hinder new types of payment processing.”
“In my Food/CPG Issues & Strategies class at Western Michigan University we always have one class where we discuss emerging in-store technology with our students. One of the topics we discuss is mobile technology and there is not a lot of interest on the part of these young people...most of this is fueled by security risks they are not willing to take at this time. Based on the students' feedback, I'm guessing it will be a long time before there are enough consumers willing to participate in this technology to create a return on the retailers' hardware investments.”
“As with any technology that goes into stores, the technology is going to have to mature, stabilize, and standardize before retailers will adopt--and without places to pay, consumers won't be too keen to sign up.”
“There is still little ‘convenience’ advantage associated with these phones. It would be great if you really could leave your wallet at home, but the bottom line is that our wallets are becoming more and more a necessity as clerks, airports and others require photo identification. And for women, until phones can apply make up, provide baby wipes and dispense Tylenol, I'll continue carrying a purse (with my phone in it).”
“Technical and security issues aside, we'll need to make the benefits compelling. Swiping a plastic card and keying in a PIN is already pretty convenient and secure. We all need to carry identification cards and therefore wallets, so I doubt this will lighten our pockets any time soon.”
“Once the U.S. overcomes its security issues with contactless payments and assures the public of the safety of using them, this technology will explode.”