Almost every week, one can find new statistics on mobile growth rates and news floods on how mobile devices are changing our lives – especially with regards to our shopping activities. Then again we do not only do mobile shopping, we interact through various channels, i.e. from smartphones, tablets, desktop computers to brick and mortar stores. Sometimes shopping is started on one channel and completed in others. What does this mean for the payment provider? As a payment provider you should be looking for yourself and for your merchants for a single platform that allows you to monitor, analyze and report payment flows – a true multi-channel platform. A single platform that allows you to follow complex shopping flows without logging into, searching and extracting data from a multitude of fragmented systems.
There are a growing number of mobile payment options, which address various shopper and merchant needs.
Here is how we categorize them from a merchant and shopper perspective:
– Mobile point of sale with (mPOS) Chip&PIN … full EMV with online PIN for small merchant solutions or e.g. cashier system. That includes also support e.g. for contactless payments.
– Mobile Shopping Solutions … shoppers shopping on their mobile devices and triggering payments through Apps or through their mobile browser
– Shopper Mobile Wallets … Shoppers using a mobile wallet to pay at the point of sale, in e-commerce or in handover scenarios
– Handover Solutions … Merchants trigger mobile payments between two devices with handover solutions. Handovers can happen in multiple ways e.g. QR code.
There will certainly be more variations of mobile payments present on the market in the future. It is difficult to predict how successful each of the options will be. The one certainty is that, as a whole, mobile payments will continue to grow quickly.
The integration of mPOS Chip & PINs added some very specific requirements to a multi-channel platform like the management and configuration of hardware devices, transport security (P2PE) and associated key management and hardware security modules (HSM) as well as POS capabilities in general. Besides especially small merchant solutions require a highly streamlined, automated merchant onboarding process.
From a multi-channel platform perspective you can view the various mobile payment options as different integration options next to classic e-commerce options like payment pages:
a) SDK based solutions for In-App payments on mobile platforms like Android, iOS, Windows etc. This includes both m-commerce (shopper initiated transactions like in shopper wallets) as well as mPOS (merchant initiated transactions like mobile Chip&PIN Setups) payment applications.
b) payment page based solutions optimized for mobile platforms
There are a lot of variables to consider when putting mobile payments into a multi-channel platform strategy. You want to make sure you do not paint yourself into a corner. You want to stay flexible and attuned to the market. My suggestion is, you better rely on a complete (mobile) technical infrastructure combined with your flexibility and choice of mobile platforms, devices, payment methods and your network of banks/acquirers relevant to your global as well as local business.
Finally, the payment is a fast-moving market. It is not only necessary to base your product and technology decisions on a snapshot of the current market requirements, but also to rely on a partner that has proven that they are continuously investing in a state-of-the-art payment infrastructure, an ever growing network of payment providers, and an innovative product portfolio to make sure your multi-channel platform is ready for the future.