Last week we hosted Mobey Forum’slargest ever member meeting at our Rotterdam office. We were thrilled towelcome organizations and experts from around the world for three days ofinvaluable networking and industry insights.
We’ve taken a moment to reflect onsome of the key topics, and explore how they might impact the payments andretail industries in 2017.
From payments to buyingexperiences
As the core theme of the Rotterdammeeting, this transition is something the speakers were passionate about. Sowhile mobile payments were still a hot topic, the conversation had moved onfrom the enabling technology to the consumer interface. For many speakers,including myself and our CEO Ron Black, getting closer to the consumer byproviding a better user experience will only become more important as unified payments(combining gift cards, points, coupons and credit into a single transaction)become fully integrated into consumers’ day-to-day lives.
Attendees also heardup-to-the-minute examples of organizations enabling a move towards a holisticbuying experience, including PayKey’ssecured payment keyboard that facilitates payments directly from a bank accounton social media channels, and Paytogether’spayment gateway that enables consumers to make group bookings in a singletransaction. Convenience, simplicity and value; everything needed to driveadoption.
AI, blockchain and HCE hit theirstride
Artificial intelligence(AI) has also been a popular topic of discussion in recent years, and we arestarting to see use cases in fintech. In Rotterdam we had the opportunity to discuss thepotential value of AI in banking, and it is going to be exciting to see howthis emerging technology can add value to banks and consumers. In a rapidlyevolving ecosystem like payments, it’s always difficult to make predictions,but we are confident that AI will continue to develop its presence in theindustry.
Interesting discussion alsocentered on the application of technologies that improve connectivity,security, user experience and engagement within mobile payments. Blockchain, themost talked-about tech in 2016, continues to show incredible promise – Consult Hyperionin particular were enthusiastic about how it could be used outside of B2Btransactions, where much of its coverage has focused. Bluetooth, a technologythat at one point nearly faded into the past, was also discussed at length,having risen to prominence once more with the growthin wearables and IoT devices. Beyond this, discourse around augmentedreality also showed that all of these technologies are being combined to bringus closer to a seamless, frictionless and invisible buying experience.
Working together to add value topayments
This is arguably the most excitingperiod in the history of payments and many of the companies leading the way aredoing so collectively. For example, we heard about Mastercard and Samsung’scollaboration to develop Groceries, thefirst shopping app integrated into a refrigerator, which learns from shoppinghabits to make personalized suggestions. On top of this, Masterpass technologyis also being leveraged in the automotive industry, with General Motors and IBMworking together to develop the first cognitive mobility platform for connectedcars.
Another mobile payment technologythat was discussed at length during the meetings was host card emulation (HCE).While no longer a new technology, realizing its full potential centers oncertification, as FIME and Riscure explained. Certifiable standards in mobilepayments technologies allow not just for interoperability and multi-devicefunctionality, but also make collaborations between different members of thepayments ecosystem possible.
The payments sector continues toexplore new ways to improve the customer journey. We are proud to be a part ofthe evolution towards a buying experience that truly adds value for consumers,banks and retailers. After participating in last week’s meetings, there is nodoubt in my mind that much of the innovation and collaboration happeningalready across the industry (and much we are yet to see) is born in gatheringslike Mobey Forum Rotterdam.