Last week we hosted Mobey Forum’s largest ever member meeting at our Rotterdam office. We were thrilled to welcome organizations and experts from around the world for three days of invaluable networking and industry insights.
We’ve taken a moment to reflect on some of the key topics, and explore how they might impact the payments and retail industries in 2017.
From payments to buying experiences
As the core theme of the Rotterdam meeting, this transition is something the speakers were passionate about. So while mobile payments were still a hot topic, the conversation had moved on from the enabling technology to the consumer interface. For many speakers, including myself and our CEO Ron Black, getting closer to the consumer by providing a better user experience will only become more important as unified payments (combining gift cards, points, coupons and credit into a single transaction) become fully integrated into consumers’ day-to-day lives.
Attendees also heard up-to-the-minute examples of organizations enabling a move towards a holistic buying experience, including PayKey’s secured payment keyboard that facilitates payments directly from a bank account on social media channels, and Paytogether’s payment gateway that enables consumers to make group bookings in a single transaction. Convenience, simplicity and value; everything needed to drive adoption.
AI, blockchain and HCE hit their stride
Artificial intelligence (AI) has also been a popular topic of discussion in recent years, and we are starting to see use cases in fintech. In Rotterdam we had the opportunity to discuss the potential value of AI in banking, and it is going to be exciting to see how this emerging technology can add value to banks and consumers. In a rapidly evolving ecosystem like payments, it’s always difficult to make predictions, but we are confident that AI will continue to develop its presence in the industry.
Interesting discussion also centered on the application of technologies that improve connectivity, security, user experience and engagement within mobile payments. Blockchain, the most talked-about tech in 2016, continues to show incredible promise - Consult Hyperion in particular were enthusiastic about how it could be used outside of B2B transactions, where much of its coverage has focused. Bluetooth, a technology that at one point nearly faded into the past, was also discussed at length, having risen to prominence once more with the growth in wearables and IoT devices. Beyond this, discourse around augmented reality also showed that all of these technologies are being combined to bring us closer to a seamless, frictionless and invisible buying experience.
Working together to add value to payments
This is arguably the most exciting period in the history of payments and many of the companies leading the way are doing so collectively. For example, we heard about Mastercard and Samsung’s collaboration to develop Groceries, the first shopping app integrated into a refrigerator, which learns from shopping habits to make personalized suggestions. On top of this, Masterpass technology is also being leveraged in the automotive industry, with General Motors and IBM working together to develop the first cognitive mobility platform for connected cars.
Another mobile payment technology that was discussed at length during the meetings was host card emulation (HCE).While no longer a new technology, realizing its full potential centers on certification, as FIME and Riscure explained. Certifiable standards in mobile payments technologies allow not just for interoperability and multi-device functionality, but also make collaborations between different members of the payments ecosystem possible.
The payments sector continues to explore new ways to improve the customer journey. We are proud to be a part of the evolution towards a buying experience that truly adds value for consumers, banks and retailers. After participating in last week’s meetings, there is no doubt in my mind that much of the innovation and collaboration happening already across the industry (and much we are yet to see) is born in gatherings like Mobey Forum Rotterdam.