The development of smartphones has gone and replaced the necessities and utilities we grew up with; the watch, the alarm clock, the tape recorder, music players, and it seems that very soon, we can add cash and wallets to that list. Mobile payments are garnering more attention throughout the world due to an improved user experience and the new opportunities it can provide for financial institutions, operators and merchants. This attention has been driven by the growing demand from the consumer side for mobile payments. According to Gartner, the number of mobile payment users in the world will reach 384 million by 2015, in 2009 there were 70 million users.
Mobile payments can now be based on proximity using iBeacon
Proximity payments are going to make in-store shopping a lot more interesting. Proximity payments are a form of contactless payments which is more convenient than swiping credit cards. In a store setting you can use a mobile device to complete a payment by way of short-range communication technologies including Bluetooth, RFID and now iBeacon. Mobile payments fall into three categories; mobile proximity payments or in-store payments, mobile peer-to-peer and mobile commerce. Whilst growth will occur over the next few years for all three, the growth in mobile proximity payments will far outpace the growth of the other two.
Mobile is unleashing convenient commerce and enabling consumers to purchase how and when they want whether on a phone or in a store. By 2017 Mobile proximity payments is expected to reach $40.1 billion, up from $1.1 billion volume expectations in 2013.
Two companies embracing mobile proximity payments include Hailo and PayPal:
Up until now Hailo drivers and passengers are matched based on both availability and proximity using GPS-enabled smartphones. The new ‘Pay with Hailo’ service is now fully equipped to use iBeacon technology. This feature uses iBeacon which can automatically recognize taxis with the option to connect and pay for a journey automatically as soon as you step foot inside a vehicle. According to Tom Barr CEO of Hailo “We are taking the friction and the hassle out of taking a taxi and making it easier for people and for drivers“. Ultimately Hailo’s vision is to provide a seamless experience for both drivers and passengers. Currently our-selves here in Ireland have been lucky enough to be the very first country to get our hands on Hailo’s new payment features. The Hailo app proved successful at the Web Summit in Dublin last year, and with attendee figures set to double to 20,000 this year, now is an optimal time for Hailo to embrace this technology.
In the new year PayPal will be deploying PayPal Beacon to connect to a customer’s PayPal app when they enter a store. With one vibration or sound on your phone, you will know you’re checked in. And when you’re ready to make a purchase, all you have to do is say you’re paying with PayPal and the transaction is automatically completed: no cash, cards, taps, or signatures required—all hands free. PayPal Beacon will connect consumers to enhanced shopping experiences such as automatically ordering your favorite dish at your usual lunch spot, or getting personalized service at your favorite clothing store. In addition, you can choose to accept messages from stores that you walk into, so that you can take advantage of special offers in the product aisle. You can get notified immediately when your prescription is ready, order your usual lunch at your favorite restaurant, or simply walk to the counter with your purchases and say you’re paying with PayPal, the merchant does the rest and you receive your receipt electronically. With PayPal Beacon it has the potential to change the landscape of mobile payments.