This week I gave an interview in ThePaypers regarding further challenges in the Mobile Payment market. At PAY.ON, we constantly analyse market trends, technology developments, consult with clients and industry experts. Regarding mobile payments, we decided pretty early to develop suitable solutions for and with our clients. We wanted to make a difference with our solution by combining our existing payment platform PaySourcing – originally an e-commerce solution – with a broad range of mobile payment options. Thereby we created a true multi-channel platform.
ThePaypers: How do you see mobile payments / m-commerce impacting the business of PAY.ON over the coming 12 months?
Wolfgang: One of the main market accelerators is that consumers want to seamlessly interact with numerous different shopping channels – for example, on smartphones, tablets, desktop computers – and brick and mortar stores. Very often shopping is started in one channel and completed in others. Merchants need to follow consumers across these channels with consistent and comprehensive reporting, risk management and business intelligence. Hence, it has become a simple necessity for payment providers to offer this service – providers on our platform certainly can. Additionally, we continuously expand our portfolio and constantly integrate new POS acquiring solutions, devices and innovations in multichannel business intelligence.
ThePaypers: Do you think that the mobile device will eventually replace the wallet in consumers’ pockets? If so, what challenges does this shift in consumer preferences (towards mobile) present for a company like PAY.ON?
Wolfgang: Yes, it is quite conceivable that some form of mobile device combined with a virtual wallet will achieve that. The challenges are of course technical, especially with regards to security as well as compliance aspects. Due to our constant investment in our products and infrastructure, e.g. our switch to our hot, hot data centres in London last year or the setting up of the complete mobile infrastructure, we are very well prepared for all technical aspects. As such payments become more popular, more regulatory aspects will be put into play to protect various interests. For us, coming from the much regulated card payment area, it will be easy to adapt to these changes. This is what we have always done – fast and reliably – over the years in the industry.
ThePaypers: The m-payments ecosystem is still emerging and is very fragmented, with many players joining the playing field all the time. In your opinion, does the fragmentation of the mobile payments ecosystem leave it more vulnerable to fraud and security risks? If so, how can this be prevented?
Wolfgang: Yes, some players go LIVE without necessary security measures in place. This is driven by high time-to-market pressure and in some cases the lack of industry knowledge. This fragmentation, however, also has a positive effect: it drives and creates a lot of innovation. The continuous output of new services is solving consumer problems faster. However, it is best handled on top of an approved state-of-the-art payment infrastructure. And that is what the players in the mobile application area such as Opentabs are good at and should focus on. They cannot make the difference by wrestling with the gritty payment details and related security, fraud prevention and compliance aspects. It’s a very time-consuming and complex burden, and if things go wrong, you could be thrown out of business as a result of fraud and security risks. At PAY.ON, this burden is taken away by providing a platform with flexible fraud-prevention management combining third-party solutions with internal checks thus allowing tailored fraud-prevention solutions for a broad range of applications in local markets and on a global scale.
ThePaypers: Do you have some recommendations that you would like to share with other payments processors and technology providers who are trying to establish a presence in the mobile space?
Wolfgang: Due to the fact that there are so many solutions out there and it is hard to predict which solutions will prevail, it is better to trust a platform that enables a broad range of mobile payment options from mobile payment pages, mobile wallets, handover solutions to mobile Chip & PIN. You want all those channels combined with your e-commerce on one single platform – with consistent, comprehensive and overarching reporting, fraud prevention and analysis all in one. Going mobile, for instance in the Chip & PIN segment, means that you want to retain your flexibility in choosing your devices or acquiring solutions. With such strong payment capabilities in the background you can focus on creating innovative mobile application solutions making the consumer’s life easier.
In my next blog post, I will discuss Mobile payments and EMV. A further topic of great market interest and importance.