Changes in consumer behavior continue to be rapid, disruptive, and largely driven by technology influences, such as mobile devices, big data, the cloud, IoT and machine learning. Simultaneously, security breaches are growing and continue to place both consumers and businesses at risk.
While cash and credit cards may never disappear entirely, this convergence of forces is driving one of the most profound shifts to how we pay for goods and services, challenging both financial institutions and retail providers to adjust their strategy for the future of payments. Here are the three leading technologies paving the way.
Debit and credit cards may never go away, but swiping them just might. Contactless payments rose 164% in the U.K. last year, they doubled in Canada in 2015, and 53% of Australians have made a contactless payment. Market expects the U.S. to follow suit as more merchants upgrade their point-of-service terminals to accept chip cards, and along with them, contactless payments.
Put a finger on authentication
Rather than forcing customers to tap in their usernames and passwords every time they want to make an online transaction, some companies develop TouchIDs, which allow customers of financial institutions to log in to their bank accounts with nothing more than their fingertips. In addition to being a uniquely accurate identifier, fingerprints are infinitely more difficult to lose than a password—and much harder to hack, too.
Customers who use Amazon gadgets can simply ask the virtual assistant to take care of financial transactions for them. As with fingerprint technology, this innovation saves consumers the hassle of remembering yet another password and going through a tedious login procedure every time they want to make or receive a payment. In the future, especially as voice recognition technology improves, companies expect this method of sending and receiving money to gain more traction.
Far from being mutually exclusive goals, efficiency and security are tied tightly together in the world of payments. As Fin-Tech companies develop the technology to move away from passwords that can be guessed or stolen to more unique identifiers such as voices, fingerprints, and sensors that eliminate point-of-service terminals, technology companies also move toward a more secure future. The very things that will make consumers’ lives easier will also protect them—a win-win if ever there was one.