With new technologies like driverless cars and drone deliveries dominating media headlines, it's easy to overlook the numerous seemingly-insignificant developments that are brought to market every day. Once such area of innovation that is commonly overlooked is the payments industry.
Fortunately, innovators are dedicated to the task of ensuring safe credit card transactions - even if consumers at large fail to fully appreciate the ways in which these technologies impact our daily lives.
Upon closer inspection, we see a wide variety of exciting and intriguing opportunities.
Smartphones are increasingly becoming the dominant vehicle for eCommerce transactions. More and more purchases are being made from a mobile device.
Perhaps the only universally-acknowledged inconvenience of shopping via phone is typing in all of the shipping and cardholder information. Fortunately, Visa offers a solution in the form of Visa Checkout
. This platform stores personal information, making checkout quick and easy.
Several merchants have embraced the one-click buying option. Amazon, for example, allows shoppers to make a purchase with a simple touch of a button. However, Visa Checkout allows cardholders to store payment information that can then be used with any participating merchant on any device.
The three-digit code on the back of most payment cards serve as a fraud protection mechanism. When entered during the online checkout process, this code helps ensure the shopper has the card in hand. However, if fraudsters are able to steal this essential payment processing information, the code is ineffective at blocking unauthorized transactions.
That's why OT Motion Code™ replaces the printed numerals with a screen, along with a dynamic code that changes at regular intervals. The technology is already in talks with organizations including Network International
, who hopes to introduce the Motion Code™ technology to parts of Africa and the Middle East within the next year.
Many industry experts believe EMV technology is not enough of a security guarantee in the card-present environment - especially when paired with something as fallible as a PIN code or a signature. That's where biometric payment cards come in.
Both MasterCard and Visa experimented in recent years with fingerprint-activated cards. MasterCard ran a test with technology company Zwipe in the Norwegian market back in 2014, while Visa partnered with SmartMetric. Both companies hold out hope of introducing the biometric cards globally in the years to come.
MasterCard's Identity Check, what commentators have dubbed 'Selfie Pay,' is a similar technology invented for ecommerce payments.
In order to authorize a mobile purchase, Identity Check
asks the customer to authenticate the transaction with biometric facial recognition technology using the phone's camera. In addition to fingerprints (the primary authentication method for mobile wallets), facial recognition has been frequently suggested as the most practical methods of biometric authentication.
Apple Pay is the most popular phone-based payment tool, though there are numerous alternatives including Samsung Pay and PayPal.
While mobile wallets slowly gained traction in the U.S., they've already seen widespread adoption in other markets like China. However, U.S. consumers are catching up; Apple predicts
an 80% year-over-year increase in mobile payment use between 2015 and 2020, with annual U.S. payment volume rising from $75 billion to $503 billion.
What consumers love about mobile wallets is that they offer not only greater convenience and versatility, but also advanced security. Mobile wallets take advantage of tokenization technology just like EMV chip cards and can also be secured by biometric technology. Apple Pay, for example, has the option to be secured with fingerprint technology.
Internet of Things
One of the hottest buzz-phrases when it comes to new consumer technology is the 'Internet of Things' - a web of interconnected, Wi-Fi enabled consumer goods. While not the flashiest example of this idea in action, the Amazon Dash button
encapsulates much of the promise of the IoT.
The Dash buttons are small, branded plastic buttons, each attached to a specific household product, from laundry detergent to diapers to groceries. Simply pushing the button will automatically order the specified item, charge it to the customer's Amazon account, and ship it out for delivery.
Combined with Amazon's two-hour shipping in select markets, these little buttons could save quite a few trips to the store.
This is Just the Beginning
Watching the progression of technology development and adaptation is always a fascinating experience. These five new forms of payment processing technology are sure to impact the industry for years to come.