What can we expect from mobile payments in 2013?

2013 will be an exciting year for mobile payments and I believe it will herald a faster transition to this new form of payment than analysts are currently predicting. Traditional transaction methods remain woefully inadequate in meeting the needs of both the world’s large under-banked population and those who are demanding even greater convenience from their banks. Mobile opens up a host of possibilities to address both.

Pat Carroll is a founding director and CEO of ValidSoft. He has over 20 years of experience in information technology and financial markets. At ValidSoft, he leads the R&D function and is responsible for intellectual property and new patents.

Prior to founding ValidSoft, Carroll was employed as head of electronic trading technology in Europe for Goldman Sachs International where responsibilities included technical strategy related to electronic trading, client connectivity and straight through processing (STP). Carroll co-headed European Equities Technology and was a technical advisor to the Investment Banking Division (PIA).

Carroll has previously worked in a senior capacity with JP Morgan, Credit Suisse Financial Products and Bankers Trust Company.

 

2013 will be an exciting year for mobile payments and I believe it will herald a faster transition to this new form of payment than analysts are currently predicting. Traditional transaction methods remain woefully inadequate in meeting the needs of both the world’s large under-banked population and those who are demanding even greater convenience from their banks. Mobile opens up a host of possibilities to address both.

However, throughout 2012 the mobile payments industry was preoccupied with the race for market share and no single technical standard has emerged. As long as there remains opportunity to be had and competition remains high, I think we’ll see this trend continue. I wouldn’t be surprised if along the way we see some of the fundamentals failing to be addressed and a significant fraud attack occurs that puts users at risk and causes significant reputational damage for this new channel. We already saw one such high profile case in 2012, when the NatWest Get Cash app had to be removed from the market.

This is why we see the role of security in safeguarding the future of the mobile payments industry as so important. If security is not thought about ‘by design’ and is more of an afterthought, the one certainty is going to be fraud, which will result in consumer loss of faith in mobile payment technologies and in their providers.

That’s why we’re fully in support of the Electronic Transaction Association’s Mobile Payments Committee, as it looks to become a unifying body helping to shape the standards for the merchant acquiring industry in this area. Ultimately, any new mobile payment technology will live or die by consumer take up and on-going use, and as quickly as hype can develop around a new app or a new wallet, it can also be knocked down, if just one security slip shows consumers that their credentials aren’t safe.