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Security Concerns Remains the Curse of the Mobile Wallet Industry (but it doesn’t have to be!)

Posted by Rob Stringer, February 10, 2015 secure-wallet

The mobile wallet industry’s campaign to convince consumers to have fewer concerns about mobile wallet security than credit card security is falling on deaf ears — at least according to a recent report from 451 Research, an enterprise IT research firm. While the report also highlighted ease-of-use and merchant acceptance as top consumer obstacles to broad mobile wallet adoption, security remains the number one issue.   451 Research analyst Jordan McKee wrote in his report that “it’s evident that mass-market adoption remains a distant reality,” and attributes the “low take-up” to the lack of a mobile wallet solution that brings together the three key ingredients required to compete with accepted payment methods: Security, Convenience, and Ubiquitous acceptance The report backed up its finding with another study, this one from 451 Research partner ChangeWave Research, which quantified the security concerns like this: 84 per cent of consumers have concerns about the ability…

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The Post-ApplePayolyptic world of Mobile Payments

Posted by Rob Stringer, February 3, 2015 applepay2

The world of mobile payments has entered the dystopian post-ApplePayolyptic future-world reminiscent of the Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and Divergent –Blade Runner too if you’re old enough to remember. In this new, world, the only constant is change. New hegemonies will be created; dynasties will fall while some others survive. While Apple Pay hasn’t completely reinvented mobile payments, it did bring the more complex ecosystem of open loop payments into the mainstream in much the same way that Starbucks did with closed loop payments. MCX has quietly gone about the business of piloting its competitive app, CurrentC, while Softcard has announced layoffs and is regrouping (again). Shares of Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid have not been impacted (so far) by their decision to go with Apple, or to stick with MCX. Google Wallet and PayPal remain consistent. Both enjoy the benefits of strong on-line support, but neither has really been…

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Disney's MagicBand: A great payments product that's half way there

Posted by Shaunt Sarkissian, January 14, 2015 disney-magicband

As the CEO of a mobile wallet technology company, going anywhere – never mind the Magic Kingdom – without my child-like fascination for how people pay for things getting the best of me is nearly impossible. When you take that fascination and curiosity to one of the most amazing destinations on the planet, well, it’s going to be a great day. During my recent family trip to Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort, I found the Magic Kingdom in its usual full glory. Meticulously manicured, customer-centered and technologically advanced (although my favorite attraction remains Space Mountain, which is some 40 years old now!). But one of the “attractions” I most looked forward to experiencing was the MagicBand. If you haven’t been to a Magic Kingdom in the last couple of years, during your next visit you’ll be introduced to MagicBand — an NFC-based, colorful wrist band that allows customers, with the…

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Without Question, Millennials Will Drive Mobile Payments Growth

Posted by Rob Stringer, December 22, 2014 teens-drive-mobile-growth

Banks, merchants and payment processors are spending more dollars marketing to Millennials than any time in recent history. There’s a very good reason for this, one that should be fairly obvious: as Millennials age, and now with so many among the work force, their wealth is increasing. When you consider their increasing wealth plus their first mover status reputation, the financial services industry has a demographic to bet its future on. At the center of this Millennial feeding frenzy is the mobile payments market – a market that will live or die based on the mobile payments habits of people born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. That’s according to a report, “Accenture 2014 North America Consumer Digital Banking Survey,” from Accenture, the management consulting, technology, services and outsourcing company. When was the last time you saw a Millennial without a smartphone in their hands. Pretty much never, right?…

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Starbucks: Getting rid of plastic in ways no other brand can

Posted by Rob Stringer, December 10, 2014 starbucks

For all those payment folks that think they can replicate the success of the Starbucks mobile payments application, I have one thing to say. You can’t, unless you can replicate this. I visited my local Starbucks this week and asked about the company’s new Limited- Edition Sterling Silver Starbucks card (which comes, of course, with its own red snap pouch). It turns out that my store, and in fact, all but one store in greater Boston, has already sold out of this limited edition “jewelry quality 925 sterling” silver card (just in time for the holidays!) Really? So not only does Starbucks have an enviable mobile payments app, but many of its customers are apparently willing to now pay a premium (a significant $150.00 premium) for one of their prepaid cards? How do they do it? What makes it all so special? The Starbucks mobile app is really nothing more…

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