Wavefront Summit discusses the future of mobile and how it will change retail
Expect payments on plastic to go up against wearable tech and smartphones, said Derek Colfer, head of mobile innovation at Visa, in a presentation about the company’s foray into mobile payments at the Wavefront Wireless Summit. Visa launched the first commercial tap and pay network in Canada, according to the company, allowing retailers and consumers to conduct in-store transactions via mobile devices.
With 63 per cent of Canadians owning smartphones in 2013, 80 per cent will able to engage in tap and pay, or near-field communication payments, by 2016.
Mobile security is an ongoing concern though as much as it is for plastic cards, said Colfer. Stolen or lost phones and interference during transactions present opportunities for personal financial data theft. However, the dynamic and time-sensitive nature of that data (even if the data is stolen, its usefulness expires after one or two transactions) makes it less of a problem than a stolen credit card. Coffee shops and food services can afford a compromised transaction, but retailers selling big budget purchases like televisions or luxury goods cannot.
Whether Canadian retailers are ready for tap and pay transactions or not, Telus, Rogers and Bell have all partnered with banks including CIBC and RBC, allowing customers to turn their phone into their debit card.
Canada is primed for payment transformation like no other country in the world, said David Robinson, VP of emerging business at Rogers. Rogers featured its new mobile payment technology, and its partnership with Canadian shopping center giant RioCan, which will allow shoppers to pay via there phones, and receive real-time, targeted offers while shopping. Rogers hopes that retailers will buy in to the new program, which will give them more real-time data on what their customers are up to in-store.
Canada’s wireless industry contributed $41 billion to the economy in 2013, and as mobile technology continues to mediate the shopping experience, the value of the industry looks set to increase.