Consumer Electronics Show – The Payments Spin

by Patricia Hewitt 0

This week, the phantasmagoric event calledCES (Consumer Electronics Show) is in full swing and every daywe’re teased with what the future may hold for consumerelectronics. Since the payments industry has embraced the conceptof an embedded payment, it got me wondering how the top ideas atCES might impact our industry. The list of technologies I’ve usedis from a Bloomberg article, CES 2014: The Next Big Thing? Or a Bunch of SmallThings?

Devices that Detect Gestures andEmotions
Declined at the POS? Need cashback? That scowl or smile might bedetected by the next generation POS and be used by your issuer tohelp them personalize your account experience or add another layerof security. More practically, we know that gesture-basedauthentication is something already in the works and facialrecognition software is being used in market. We’d say yes, lookfor leading edge companies to increasingly test the boundaries andusages of gesture and facial recognition capabilities.

Remote Control Drones
Bit of a stretch, but issuers could drop emergency replacementcards right into your purse or pocket? Don’t believe me? Well, wedon’t either and say no, not seeing the connection (for now).

Glasses
Very early stage, but important technology that speaks volumesabout embedded applications. Payments, however, are more of apiggyback than a driver and even that’s way out there. We’d vote nofor anything to happen that marries bifocals and payments anytimesoon.

Hardened Hardware
The article discusses a tough tablet developed by Panasonic thatcan withstand serious drops. For consumers to get reallycomfortable with device-based payments, manufacturers are going tohave to address no-fail devices including much longer lifebatteries. Yes, we view these efforts as part of the key activitiesthat will encourage growth in the mobile payments market in thefuture.

Full Body Engagement
The opportunity for share gain is real for our industry as thesedevelopments will drive up sales of gaming devices, gamingprograms, and gaming subscriptions. Acquiring services thateffectively manage recurring and micro-payments will benefit fromthe proliferation of these devices. We’re bullish on bodies.

The Personal Cloud
Personal clouds could be an out-of-nowhere disruptor to accountprovisioning strategies. What if I could provision my own accountsfrom my own cloud? Would I perceive that as the ultimate controlover my personal information? We’ll watch this development withgreat interest and especially keep an eye on who’s investing inthis technology.

A Simpler Yahoo
The re-engineering of Yahoo will make it into the lexicon ofbusiness strategy in years to come and for now we don’t see thecompany moving into the payments industry in any kind of directway. But with a core strategy that relies on advertising, digitalmedia, and mobile products, it won’t take long. We look for Yahooto make a move in this direction in the near term.

The Internet of Everything
Key phrase here is “more consumer purchases”. Need we saymore?

Hope you’ve enjoyed this lighthearted, but grounded look at what’sahead for our industry. Our analysts monitor the payments marketevery day, connect with us and learnmore about our team members.

Learn more about Mercator Advisory Group’sConsulting Services.