2015: The year of the smartphone

2015: The year of the smartphone

New technologies, new markets, new providers – new dynamism! The payments industry is in a state of flux. Join us in taking a look into the crystal ball....

Back in 2014, we identified mPOS and mobile wallets as emerging trends. How did these trends develop? And what are the other burning topics in the area of cashless payments?

Flexible and mobile – with mPOS

As a reminder: mPOS is the solution for small merchants and private individuals who want to accept card payments. These are handheld devices that can be linked up to smartphones and can be used to read payment cards quickly and easily. The transaction is authorized via a mobile connection and then confirmed as usual by means of a PIN. These solutions are market-ready and are already being implemented in many areas. SIX is at the forefront of this trend: its product "mCashier" is already available on the Swiss market.

Mobile wallets: your smartphone as your control centre

Mobile wallet basically means that, in future, everything you normally carry in your wallet is set to be available at your fingertips on your smartphone – ranging from payment cards, coupons and vouchers right through to tickets. Mobile wallets will also make it easier for private individuals to transfer money between one another as well as to pay at points of sale.

A number of different solutions are already on the market, although so far most of them only cover individual aspects. The new NFC-capable products from Apple should give this trend a new boost and make mobile wallets a reality in the foreseeable future with the release of the iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch. Within this context, Apple has announced Apple Pay: a payment system that probably comes as close as possible to the definition of a mobile wallet described here.

SIX is already hard at work developing a new product on the mobile wallet front: the so-called person-to-person payment solution – P2P, for short – which will be launched on the Swiss market initially in 2015. It will allow private individuals to send or request money simply and conveniently in real time. This will be expanded in 2016 to include secure payments at points of sale.

However, mobile wallets offer a whole lot more besides. Information that is frequently used by the customer in question, such as delivery and billing addresses, can be entered once and then saved securely. SIX will begin to offer this for e-commerce starting in 2015 in collaboration with MasterCard and Visa. Customers will be able to check out in the webshop quickly and easily by means of MasterPass and V.me and complete the payment. Their payment data will be saved securely and will be able to be retrieved whenever required. This translates into added convenience for your customers – and in turn leads to more e-commerce transactions.

Simpler, quicker: contactless

While contactless payments – by card, as well as with other NFC-capable devices and gadgets – are not yet offered across the board, they are rapidly gaining ground in various markets. More and more payment terminals are now equipped with a contactless function, and both customers and merchants appreciate the fast and uncomplicated processing procedure – particularly for small amounts.

Closer to clients: omni-channel and client retention

Omni-channel solutions and client retention programs will become key topics for most merchants in the year ahead. Both are already a technical reality, but they have not yet infiltrated the market. However, this looks set to change as they gain in importance in the retail sector and lend new dynamism to the market. Merchants should therefore stay informed and remain up to date with new developments. We will help keep you on track.