What is Mobile ID in Retail?
Innovations in mobile ID have perhaps most famously affected the payments space, thanks to the advent of mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay. But how a user makes a payment is only half of the equation when it comes to commerce. On the merchant’s end, mobility has become just as strong a force of change as it is in the pockets of customers. Mobile technology that can receive payments and manage sales associate access is an integral part of the revolution underway in the mCommerce arena.
Where do I find it?
Mobile retail technology is found at the point of sale (POS). The interesting thing about this, however, is that thanks to the introduction of mobility, POS is no longer necessarily defined strictly as ‘the sales counter.’ Retail transaction solutions like Square readers allow for any sales associate with an authorized mobile device and the appropriate peripheral to accept retail payments.
Of course, the checkout counter is still a major point of sale, but the technology therein is also transforming to make way for new payment types. Whether it’s NFC readers that allow for contactless card or mobile wallet payments, or if it’s a finger or face scanner that authorizes biometric-based customer transactions, new technology is coming to the modern point of sale and it’s making retail more convenient, accessible, and accountable.
How is mobile retail changing the world?
The effect of mobile ID in the retail environment is already massive, but has even greater implications. Contactless payment terminals are giving customers freedom to pay how they want, and mobile card readers are empowering small businesses to better serve an increasingly cashless consumer world.
Looking forward, it seems that paying strictly via identity is the vision of industry thought leaders. At Money20/20 Europe 2016 in Copenhagen, we learned about Google’s pilot project that’s enabling some McDonald’s customers to order food with their faces. Furthermore, during a 2014 presentation at Money20/20 Las Vegas, Visa president Ryan McInerney described a completely invisible payments infrastructure that acts similar to the Uber model, in which the actual exchange of money is hidden, managed digitally though either prearranged transaction or enabled by device proximity. This type of large scale innovation cannot be done without mobile identity tech on both sides of the transaction: customer and retail.