Mass mobile commerce is becoming a reality very quickly. Touch ID put the idea in the head of the mainstream consumer, with rumors that the biometric solution might be leading to an Apple payment solution protected by fingerprints, and now – six months away from Android users being able to unlock their phones with the touch of an enrolled finger – the possibility of leaving your wallet at home and still being ready for anything from an emergency cab ride to an impulsive cheeseburger is not far off.
Daniel Levine, director of the Avant-Guide Institute and consumer trend expert, has weighed in on the surge of new cash alternative technologies around the globe. At the center of this big move to mobile payment are two FIDO Alliance members: PayPal and MasterCard.
According to Levine, retailers are the ones pushing hardest for a non-cash world of consumerism and companies like PayPal and MasterCard are developing systems of smartphone-based payment, and what’s more is that the former’s doesn’t even require items to be brought to a traditional point of sale to be scanned and sold. PayPal’s solution takes the form of a mobile app that can communicate with store registers to accept payment at the customer’s wishing, allowing the tech savvy shopper to simply walk out of the store with purchased merchandise, bypassing checkout lines.
MasterCard, who it was recently revealed is joining the FIDO Alliance, will be going with a register-friendly method (the MasterPass) that essentially allows shoppers to use smartphones in situations that would call for credit cards.
Levine goes on to detail other forms of cashless transactions that are popping up: Disney will have payment wristbands and a Finnish company has developed a facial recognition solution that allows customers to smile to authorize payments.
This increase in momentum regarding mCommerce was predicted by Frost & Sullivan, who’s global program director ICT, financia services, Jean-Noel Georges said that fingerprint biometrics on smartphones would be the final piece of the puzzle, allowing adequate payment protection on a large enough scale to implement the sort of ambitious, paradigm shifting technologies described above.