The world is awash with new payment systems. We have ApplePay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, innumerable wallets and plenty of other new systems. But we still continue to do most of our shopping with cash and cards just as we always have.
Why is this? Because we know it works, and we don’t like taking any chances with our money. We’ll stick with what we know works, and we won’t try anything new, unless there is a compelling reason to.
What counts as a compelling reason? ApplePay is new and whizzy but it’s not really that much easier than using a card. It, and the others like it, merely allow you to make a subset of the transactions you could already make using cards. Unless you can use it EVERYWHERE you can’t leave your cards or your cash at home and therefore is just an additional payment method, one more to add to the list. “Whizzy” is not compelling, not for most people anyway.
This is the problem preventing us adopting any new way to pay. We will have to continue to carry cards until there comes a time when we don’t need them. The basic cost of the infrastructure to accept cards means that small shops, market stalls and school fetes have to insist on cash. You still have to carry a wallet because there are times when you still need cash.
If we’re going to start using a new way to pay, it has to be easy, not just for us to use, but easy for us to use it anywhere.
So here’s the compelling proposition: simplicity. You need a system where, to become a merchant you simply download an App and upload some ID. On the customer side, you simply open an account from an App or a browser and register your cards.
Clearly, there will be limits until you have provided some ID. But at least you can get started. If the customer has a dumb phone the system must work on SMS. If the customer has a smart phone there must be an App. If the customer has NFC or a camera there must be no need to enter any numbers other than the sale amount. And the system must handle cross border and cross currency transactions as standard.
Things may not be so simple behind the scenes, of course. The infrastructure connecting the merchant to the customer (issuer to acquirer in card parlance) must be separate from the infrastructure supporting each party. They may be supported by different companies; everything has to work together seamlessly. The customer will not want a different App for each outlet they shop at so there must be complete interoperability across all platforms.
If your basic infrastructure is right, this should be a doddle. If not, call us at Trusek.