ETA Transact 2015 was held in March 2015, in San Francisco – the home of innovation. The expo brought together leaders and innovators in the payments and FinTech industries, from all over the world. Hot topics such as EMV shift, the maze of solutions in the mobile payments space, fraud and start-up investment were discussed during the educational tracks designed by the ETA Transact organizers. At the same time, merchants had the chance to visit the exhibit hall, interact with merchant service providers and get a better understanding on the variety of ecommerce options they can choose from.
The transition to EMV, supporting Apple Pay, Google Wallet and other payment methods that either didn’t exist or don’t have the ubiquity they have today, are a few of the challenges merchants have to face. There is a lot of anxiety in the industry, as merchants are looking for trusted sources of innovation and education; whether that means their ISOs, partners or software companies, or third-party providers with global reach, supporting their business growth.
Mobile isn’t going away!
Growth of mobile is taking up a big part of the discussion pie. Merchants, PSPs, acquirers and banks go to shows like ETA Transact, they walk the expo floor and find multiple mobile solutions for merchants such as tablet solutions, POS solutions, Apple Pay solutions and so on. As mobile is growing rapidly, security and convenience are two of the main criteria that will trigger higher adoption from merchants and consumers. These challenges have to be overcome in order for the practice to become ubiquitous. As noted in a recent blog post, tokenization and biometrics will help win consumers’ trust and get a higher consumer adoption.
Big companies, such as Wal-Mart, are complaining about the quantity of solutions within the mobile payments space they may have to adopt. Merchants cannot simply stop, renew or update their processes every time a solution pops up. The smart thing to do is to wait and see or try something different.
What does it take to make mobile successful?
First of all, from a merchant point of view, there is no one-size-fits-all mobile solution. For 2015, the conversation is about greater adoption across the industry, and how to eliminate friction between different payment solutions. Second of all, customer experience should be the first reason to develop new technologies. After all, why will people adopt new mobile payments solutions? The industry innovators have to understand that consumers only care about saving time and money in a secure way – ”right here, right now”, and this should be the purpose of creating new mobile payments solutions.
There is too much talk about merchants and banks and issuers, and the consumers get lost in the process. Andy Shober, from Merchant Customer Exchange said “We really don’t believe consumers will get that excited and if you look at the success stories in mobile payments you see merchants that have done something to really change the consumer experience such as Starbucks, and how they tie loyalty into it so that consumers feel rewarded, creating a better relationship between merchants and consumers. Well, that’s what it takes to make mobile payments successful”.