Technology is on the brink of causing a change in how we think about money. As the mobile internet begins to take control, we are saying goodbye to paper bills and hello to symbolic digits on our computer screens.
As seen in the UK, putting pen to paper for all money-based transactions simply doesn’t happen. The use of “cheques” are pretty much redundant, regular transactions for bill payments are transferred directly between accounts and, one of the biggest differences, is Chip and Pin technology, which is the only way that cashiers will accept authorization of credit card payments. This is becoming increasingly popular in the US too, with growing trends in the use of PIN technology.
Not only have we seen a move away from paper-based transactions, but with our ever increasing habitual reliance on smart phones, there is a real change in consumer behaviors which is opening up new business opportunities.
Our trusty leather wallets are being replaced with virtual credit card applications being developed for smart phones. Google being Google, have beaten most of their competitors in developing an ‘electronic wallet’ whereby smart phones are installed with chips that transmit credit card information. And in order to facilitate these payments, mobile phone carriers such as Verizon and AT&T are developing new point-of-sale software to be sold to stores which will allow them to accept payment smart phones.
The mobile payment business is growing, and fast, with operators collecting $170 billion in 2011. One of the new players to enter this industry is Isis, which was formed in November 2010 and employs people in New York, Dallas and Seattle. The Isis Mobile Wallet “holds versions of most things your existing wallet does – this includes your credit and debit cards”. They have already linked up with JP Morgan Chase and Capital One credit cards, and are no doubt in second and third round meetings with other leading banks.
The good old fashioned plastic credit card is soon to be going out of style. American Express, the original credit card provider, are anticipating a global boom in the mobile payment industry and preparing for it themselves. They have launched Serve, a digital payment platform that uses American Express technology and security to allow its users to make “paying and being paid simple”. Dan Schulman, is heading up the Amex division, and on the topic of the changing nature of money says –
“Approximately 85 percent of transactions across the world today are in cash. But cash will start to become less dominant. The mobile phone is going to rapidly become a form factor in which you’ll not just pay for your groceries but, increasingly, you’ll find out about the information around your groceries. What’s organic, what may not be organic? What are your friends thinking about it? What offers and deals may be around it? The way you fundamentally pay for it could change. You can pay for it now. You can pay for it later. You can use virtual currencies. You can use loyalty points that you’ve accrued. So the very nature of how we will pay for things will fundamentally transform”.
After recognizing the need to change and remain innovative, Serve was launched in order for Amex to remain competitive in the global market. This New York-based company looks to compete directly with PayPal, a leader in mobile payment services. Only last week is was reported that PayPal is now offering users access to their secure PayPal accounts on their mobile phones and make a payment directly from this. Their Tabbedout application is integrated with majority of point of sale systems and allows is just another way that PayPal is bringing simplicity of paying to its 106 million users.
With rapid developments in industry-wide mobile payments services expected in 2012, Talener should definitely keep an eye on this market.
So what does this mean for Talener?
It means starting to build a pool of candidates that will fit profiles for potential new clients. The roles may include:
– Mobile Software Engineers
– Mobile Architects
– Web Developers
– Quality Assurance Analysts
The candidates will preferably come from a payments industry background, with experience with working on payment platforms and products.
Where will we find them?
– Speculative adverts to post on job boards to attract good candidates.
– LinkedIn – target those currently in similar industries and looking to move into a newly established, exciting company
– Host events at Talener and advertise online and to candidate database
Which companies should Talener target?
– New players to the growing industry, such as Isis and Serve, who are still in the early stages of growth.
– Look into finding companies that require payment platform technology and moving towards developing applications to allow mobile payments.
Where will we find them?
– Networking – attend industry events