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Three ways mobile payment is changing


Although mobile payment is still very much an emerging technology, the next stage of its evolution is occurring. The introduction of Apple Pay is September 2014 could be said to be mobile payment’s introduction as a mainstream technology, and the landscape has been steadily shifting since then.

Here are three key ways mobile payment is changing before the industry’s eyes.


Mobile is a uniquely personal technology, and mobile payment providers are coming out with what might be termed “intimate” means of authenticating purchases. Personalized authentication methods that are either currently live or known to be in development include “selfies” (which may include distinctive features such as tattoos as well as faces), fingerprint scans, iris scans, and even heartbeat recognition.

In the not-too-distant future, it is possible that consumers may authenticate their mobile purchases by scanning an implanted or ingested chip or other device.

This type of “human” authentication is not foolproof, but offers more security than mainstream methods such as password or digital signature. Obviously it is a good deal more invasive, but consumers in the millennial and Gen Z demographics demonstrate a much lower sense of personal privacy than older generations.

As biometrics advance and younger consumers take a more dominant role in the economy, expect highly personalized mobile authentication to become much more common, if not the norm,


I use “execution” as a broad term to cover the expanded range of devices and triggers that can be used to consummate mobile payment. For example, thanks to the emergence of Internet of Things connected devices, consumers can now use technologies such as smartwatches, wearable fitness devices or even their car’s dashboard to pay for purchases.

In addition, expect an increase in smart devices that automatically track a consumer’s stock of goods and place online orders when inventory gets low. This includes appliances like smart fridges that will order a new gallon of milk before the consumer even knows it is running low. It also encompasses programs like Amazon Dash, which lets consumers reorder goods at the touch of a button or even enable automatic replenishment via a connected app.


A side effect of the significant expansion in the devices and technologies supporting mobile payment is the introduction of numerous new players. No longer limited to mobile platform developers, financial services providers and retailers themselves, mobile payment is now open to an almost limitless range of potential providers.

This includes manufacturers of almost any consumer device, from autos to printers to washing machines. It also includes (but is not limited to) providers of any type of personal gadget, as well as developers of digital content such as TV shows or video games.

Of course, most of these new players will still need the cooperation of a more established partner, such as a financial services provider, retailer and/or or mobile platform, to make direct payments from their product a reality. But so far, the established partners seem more than willing to open the mobile payments gates to anyone who can deliver customers and meet their terms.

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