payments are smart, too!

The Internet of Payments

In the last two decades, the world has changed into one only geeks used to dream of. Digitalization has brought about many changes: mobile payments, wristwatches that count steps, and smart vacuums. Panasonic has a Moving Fridge which will bring your soda and all of its contents to you if you say “Fridge, come here!”. Samsung has launched Family Hub 2.0, a fridge that has Alexa, an AI assistant akin to Apple’s Siri. Soon everyone, and not just the customers of Barclays in Britain, will be able to pay or send money simply by saying “Hey, Siri, pay Mum £35 with Barclays" to their mobile phone. 

Science Fiction and Fantasy Become Fact

Voice recognition technology and virtual assistants - and these do not have to be Siri, Alexa or Cortana, they could be created by banks themselves - seem to be a possible way of the future. The number of systems which incorporate voice-recognition technology for making payments is growing every day. The users’ voice patterns are the means of identity verification, and AIs are used to translate users’ normal speech into the necessary actions. As time passes, it becomes more and more possible to conduct an almost normal conversation with what is essentially your phone.

PODCAST: THE PAYMENTS REVOLUTION

Digitalization brought up many changes such as the change in payment methods which are rapidly evolving, due to constant global technology progression. Find more about our payment methods in podcast from our Product manager Ivana Pršić.

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PAYMENT AT YOUR FINGERPRINTS 

But your voice and your fingerprints are not the only things unique to you. Nowadays, it is also your bank card! A bank card can have a fingerprint biometric stored directly in it, providing strong security and ease of payment. This is already in use, most widely in Poland, Turkey and Japan, but it is not the only one.

Finger vein-scanning is a more secure version of fingerprinting, and a popular technology in Japan. Since almost 75% of users find biometrics to be easier than handling passwords and 61% think it is faster, it is no wonder that this method of biometric authentication has been tested in supermarkets.

In Your Veins

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Veins are very popular in biometrics, because they form unique and complex patterns. They are the basis for vascular technology, a technique of biometric identification which analyses the patterns of blood vessels that are visible from the surface of the skin. It is also called vein matching and it has taken off in law enforcement and healthcare. 

In mobile banking, there is eye vein verification: a person pays by scanning their own eye with a smart phone’s camera. Eye vein patterns are super secure because they do not change with time and remain unaffected by eye redness, or contacts and glasses.

Face the Power of Your Face

Iris recognition has not been forgotten: the complex patterns of the human retina are unique, stable, and can be seen from some distance. Cairo Amman Bank was the first in the world to be able to provide an iris enabled ATM back in 2009. 

But eyes are just a part of a face, and no SF film saw this one coming: paying with a selfie! But this is happening - MasterCard is planning to simplify online shopping with MasterCard Identity Check, which, in addition to paying with a fingerprint, will enable users to pay with a photo of their face, if they have already uploaded one that the system can use for its facial recognition authentication technology. Amazon is reportedly very interested in this. 

Wearables Rush In

In a world where all machines talk to each other, the Internet of Things reigns. According to Gartner, by 2020 there will be 21 billion IoT devices and they are all going to be connected to the internet. They all are going to be exchanging value and will need payments solutions to make their world fully functional.

There are currently four rings on the market, with various capabilities, ranging from simple contactless payments to authentication, password management, door, tablet and phone locking, information transfer and application control. Seem too much? It might, but time is money and integration saves both, so it is no wonder payment is becoming integrated into every aspect of our lives.

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No Blocking that Chain

Blockchain unifies data, billing, and value. It enables a cheap, secure and fast way to bind every exchange of value in a digital world to billing. In the past, we needed a 3rd party to vouch for our money, but now blockchain replaces that with high math and cryptography. In essence, it's a decentralized database that is keeping all records of transactions and more. And it is this new technology that is driving the digital transformation in the financial industry. Already, it is finding many applications, including humanitarian ones.

Paying on the Go

Smartphones, as we know them, would seem as futuristic as imagined in Star Trek 70 years ago to someone from the first half of the 20th century. Yet, 38 million transactions were executed with smartphones in 2016, 2.5 times more than the previous year. 

Mobile banking apps are part of standard digital banking services. There are numerous specialized apps for money transfers all over the world. Apps for mobile shopping and all sorts of other apps are making payment seamless, easy and instantaneous. One would think cash registers have become obsolete and we are done with them. One would be wrong: even cash registers have managed to transform into mobile apps - mobile POS solutions. 

Mobile POS Adoption

Yes, the mobile revolution in payments works for retailers, too. Back in 2015, less than 50% of retailers used mPOS. It was preferred among small businesses, but only a few years later 32% of stores are using mobile POS exclusively! It's an expanding ecosystem of many different payment solutions. Tech developers, retailers, and manufacturers are competing to offer seamless payment experience and boost sales on one side and are competing to maximize the surge in consumer adoption on the other side.

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PODCAST: MPOS - A FUTURE-PROOF MOBILE POINT OF SALE SOLUTION

Find more about Mercury Processing Services International mPOS payment solution from Siniša Cavrić, Product expert.

TOKENIZATION TAKEOVER 

Customers expect their checkout experiences to be safe as they are seamless; they demand that all their devices and any forms of payment on them have a high level of security. To prevent further issues, the solution is tokenization. Tokenization will be one of many technologies being implemented and encouraged to protect individuals and organizations alike in this year. It is a key link to delivering on the promises of open banking; it’s about making it seamless for the customer by providing a simple authentication process that protects them without burdening the experience. The benefits of tokenization in combating potential new weaknesses has been evidenced, in safeguarding the payments data in the mobile channel. Thanks to that secure, fast, and seamless mobile experience, this new payment type has taken off.

Smarter Payments for a Seamless Future

Payment preferences and accessibility of different payment solutions play a crucial role in this new ecosystem. But payment today is still more or less just an appendix to different processes, a procedure one must complete to do something that one would really like to do. Like, eat a sandwich and pay for it just by exiting the deli.

In the future, there are going to be other technologies, and some of them are already emerging. This promises that the advances in payment will lead to a true Internet of Payment where all present technologies, such as cash, credit cards, mobile wallets and all possible technologies, such as self-paying wearables and connected cars, will be able to co-exist in harmony.