Today, Wednesday June 29, marks the golden anniversary of the first credit card in Britain. Yoyo Wallet CEO Alain Falys, whose company helps retailers integrate their EPOS systems to create fast and secure mobile payments, says that 50 years after this payment revolution, we're now on the brink of another.
In 1966, when the first credit card was introduced by Barclays Bank, a standard in-store experience involved a customer going into a store and perhaps paying with cash or in a very small amount of instances, their charge card.
“It’s much bigger than just a “cashless society”. It’s a cashless society that builds in a personalised finance experience for everyone as standard.
“The emergence of card in the 1960s was driven by advancements in technology and a need to improve the consumer payment experience. Today, 50 years on from the last payment revolution, we see talk of another, with the emergence of the cashless society.
“Yet the conversation around the form this cashless society takes is yet to take hold. The superficial shift away from physical money is masking a lack of underlying innovation.
In March 2016, there was £1,508.4m spent in the UK using contactless cards - an increase of 14.4% on the previous month and an increase of 249.9% over the year. In the same month, contactless transactions also grew by 184.0% throughout the year.
“Instead of mirroring the traditional payment experience through a new medium, cashless payment, including mobile, needs to offer real value for customers and retailers by going beyond just payment.
"In all aspects of online life, consumers have become accustomed to exchanging their data for high-quality, hyper-relevant interactions. It is time payment, a process which straddles online and offline worlds, embraces personalisation too. Payment is no longer a mandatory but limited part of the retail process, it now holds the keys to the entire customer experience through the capture of basket data revealing customer behaviours and preferences.
“The brands and retailers that grasp the full potential of this next payment revolution, will carve themselves out an advantage that extends way beyond payment into all aspects of the customer experience."