Can you imagine a world where check-in matters more than checkout when it comes to payments? Some of world’s leading payment experts can, and their ideas, presented this week at the Shoptalk conference in Las Vegas, foreshadow how consumers might buy products in the coming years.
Shoptalk, billed as “The NextGen Commerce Event,” has a focus on e-commerce, online marketing, the Internet of Things and related issues faced by everyone from established chains to the newest West Coast startups. While payments received relatively little specific attention on Monday, executives from Google, Amazon, PayPal and Chase, during a session entitled “Innovations in Payments, Mobile Wallets and Point of Sale,” discussed its future.
For one, as more commerce moves to mobile devices, and more consumers become accustomed to same-day delivery, endless inventory and other aspects of instant shopping gratification, payments will have to keep pace. That could mean less focus on checking out and its multiple steps, or what Spencer Spinnell, Google’s director of emerging platforms, called “friction.”
Patrick Gauthier, vice president of Amazon Payments for the e-retailer, urged attendees to look at the Uber model to see the future of payments: Users of that ride-sharing and taxi-dispatching mobile app store their payment information and after requesting the car, do not need to take any other action to pay for the ride. “Check-in is really the new checkout,” he said. “If you have built a payment brand based on checkout, the equity you have on your brand is going down. Checkout is last century’s problem, and it’s time to come to the 21st century.”
Amazon has announced significant efforts to simplify checkout: A new service from the company enables consumers to use their Amazon accounts to enable online and in-store payments.
PayPal, too, wants to shift more of payments to the check-in process, one reason behind its launch last year of its One Touch mobile payments technology, said Chris Gardner, the company’s head of in-store products.
Major banks are investing in new ways to pay as well. Kim Fitzsimmons, head of global e-commerce and large omnichannel commerce solutions for Chase Commerce Solutions, said the Chase Pay mobile wallet will expand its scope in the coming months. Earlier this year, Chase struck a deal with Starbucks to accept Chase Pay for purchases at its more than 7,500 U.S. locations and will integrate Chase Pay as a funding source for the prepaid card stored in its Starbucks mobile app. New deals will involve retailers where “people go habitually,” she said, noting that Chase Pay would officially launch in the fourth quarter. The bank had predicted a mid-2016 launch when it unveiled Chase Pay last fall, but its delay could be related to partner MCX postponing its own rollout of CurrentC. Chase Pay is slated for acceptance at MCX’s more than 100,000 member retail locations and within the CurrentC app.
As payments evolve, consumers will have to decide if they trust banks or tech companies more with financial information. It was no surprise that panel participants disagreed on which companies will command that trust. Fitzsimmons voiced her support for financial institutions, while the rest of the panel held otherwise. That said, all agreed when it comes to new payments programs, a convenient user experience will matter more than ubiquity in driving popularity.
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