Joint Interview on Tap to Pay

  • Brad Hyett, CEO at phos &, Matt Sloan, Vice President at Discover Global Network Business Development EMEA

  • 20.03.2024 09:06 am

Joint written Q&A with Brad Hyett, CEO of UK-based SoftPoS business phos and Matt Sloan, Vice President of Discover Global Network Business Development EMEA. Brad was one of the first payments leaders to recognize the potential of SoftPoS technology and has established phos as the market leader in Europe. Matt is currently driving Discover's fastest-growing segment - fintech partnerships and innovation around emerging payments.

1. How are SoftPoS (and Tap to Pay) technologies simplifying payment acceptance for merchants and enhancing the overall customer experience? 

Brad Hyett: SoftPoS and Tap to Pay technologies streamline payment acceptance by transforming any NFC-enabled smartphone or tablet into a payment terminal, eliminating the need for traditional hardware in some cases and enhancing a traditional hardware estate in others. This democratizes payment acceptance, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, by significantly reducing the entry cost and complexity of accepting card payments. For customers, this means quicker, more convenient transactions and a seamless payment experience without the need to carry physical cards or cash.

Matt Sloan: The use of SoftPoS and Discover® Tap on Mobile enables quick, more secure contactless payments. SoftPoS turns smartphones into payment terminals, reducing equipment costs, and boosting flexibility. Tap on Mobile enables quick, secure contactless payments, improving checkout and overall customer satisfaction. Our goal is to leverage Tap on Mobile technology to serve as a conduit for contactless payments, thus eliminating unwanted manual technology. This collaboration not only enhances the overall cardholder experience, but it also provides merchants with greater flexibility and revenue opportunities, enhancing our commitment to delivering convenience to our customers while driving innovation in the payment landscape. 

2. How does the collaboration between phos and Discover Global Network align with the broader trends shaping the payments industry, particularly in enhancing contactless payment acceptance? 

Brad: The collaboration between phos and Discover Global Network is a strategic move that enhances contactless payment acceptance globally. This partnership aligns with broader industry trends of increasing contactless payment limits and adopting NFC technology, aiming to expand the reach and acceptance of contactless payments. It supports the growing consumer demand for faster, safer, and more convenient payment methods, especially in the post-pandemic world where contactless transactions have surged.

Matt: Combining Phos' technology with our own encourages merchants to use the Tap on Mobile options, which has been the primary factor in meeting customer satisfaction at checkout and improving overall efficiency. With Phos and Discover Global Network jointly steering efforts, we are poised to deliver innovative payment experiences by augmenting customer experience and fostering payment flexibility for merchants of all types. 

3. Beyond traditional card-based transactions, how do you see solutions evolving to incorporate emerging payment methods and technologies? 

Brad: Tap to Pay solutions are expected to evolve beyond traditional card-based transactions to include mobile wallets, open banking, and biometric payment methods. The integration of these emerging payment technologies offers consumers more choices in how they pay, making transactions more convenient and personalised. Phos is positioned to adapt to these changes by continuously updating its software platform to support a wide range of payment methods and technologies.

Matt: Tap on Mobile solutions have advanced rapidly, with a key focus on fostering usage of digital wallets and the innovations within the merchants and payment spheres. By collaborating with Phos, Discover Global Network aims to provide a range of payment options prioritising both convenience and security for consumers. Our goal is to increase adoption and support of contactless payments globally as we collaborate with solution providers such as Phos.

4. Could you explain the role of artificial intelligence in optimising and enhancing transaction security?

Brad: Artificial Intelligence (AI) plays a crucial role in enhancing transaction security by enabling real-time fraud detection, risk assessment, and adaptive authentication processes. AI algorithms can analyse vast amounts of transaction data to identify patterns and predict fraudulent activities, thereby reducing the risk of unauthorized transactions. Additionally, AI can optimise the transaction process by adjusting security measures based on the transaction context, enhancing both security and user experience.

5. With the increasing digitisation of payments, what measures are being taken to ensure the security and integrity of Tap to Pay transactions, particularly in light of evolving cybersecurity threats and regulatory requirements?

Brad: As digital payments proliferate, ensuring the security and integrity of Tap to Pay transactions becomes paramount. Phos, in collaboration with industry partners like Discover Global Network, implements advanced encryption and secure communication protocols to protect transaction data. Compliance with global standards such as PCI DSS, PCI MPOC and adherence to evolving cybersecurity threats and regulatory requirements are fundamental to maintaining trust and security in the payment ecosystem.

6. With recent headlines highlighting Tap to Pay solutions on iOS devices, what opportunities and challenges do you anticipate for the wider adoption of SoftPoS technology in the coming years?

Brad: The introduction of Tap to Pay solutions on iOS devices opens significant opportunities for the wider adoption of SoftPoS technology, by leveraging the vast user base of Apple devices. However, challenges such as ensuring a unified and secure user experience across different operating systems and devices, and meeting stringent security standards must be addressed. Phos is committed to navigating these challenges to extend the benefits of SoftPoS technology to a broader audience.

7. How do you anticipate consumer behaviours and preferences shaping the future of in-store payments, and how are phos and Discover Global Network positioned to adapt to these changes? 

Brad: Consumer behaviors and preferences are increasingly leaning towards fast, secure, and contactless payment methods. Phos and Discover Global Network are well-positioned to adapt to these changes by continuously innovating and expanding their contactless payment solutions. The focus remains on enhancing customer experience, security, and accessibility, ensuring that merchants can meet the evolving expectations of their customers.

Matt: Phos and Discover Global Network remain agile in responding to evolving demands by offering adaptable solutions, capitalizing on strategic partnerships, and harnessing emerging technologies. Most global merchants have already accepted or plan to accept contactless payments; this trend, accelerated by the pandemic, has led to an 85% improvement in overall customer satisfaction and improved in-store efficiency, which has led to a 78% decrease in average transaction times. According to the survey, consumer behaviour data expressed that 45% prefer contactless payments using a digital wallet over cash; leaving 82% of surveyed merchants identifying contactless payments as one of their most popular payment types.  

8. How have mobile payments evolved in the past few years, and what would the big trends in space be in 2024? 

Brad: Mobile payments have evolved from niche to mainstream, driven by advancements in NFC technology, mobile wallets, and consumer demand for convenience. In 2024, major trends may include the integration of payment solutions with other digital services (e.g., loyalty programs), the rise of biometric payments for enhanced security and convenience, and the expansion of cross-border mobile payments. Phos, through its innovative SoftPoS solutions and partnerships like that with Discover Global Network, is at the forefront of these trends, enabling a more connected and seamless payment landscape. Phos by Ingenico, through its SoftPoS technology and strategic partnerships, is driving the future of payment acceptance and security, aligning with consumer demands and industry trends for more accessible, secure, and convenient payment options.

Matt: Technology has driven consumer preferences, causing mobile payments to evolve. Technology continues to rapidly integrate into daily activities which are prominent in consumer spending habits. Advancements in security and tokenization are expected to accelerate global adoption. Merchants are increasingly offering flexible digital payment options to enhance customer experiences, leveraging innovations such as QR codes and biometric payment cards. Additionally, the rising popularity of collaborations with software companies for embedded finance solutions and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services have also indicated the emphasis on flexible payment methods to meet evolving consumer demands. Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, we foresee a continued demand from both consumers and merchants, especially in the shopping, restaurant, transit, and healthcare spaces. 


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