Everybody needs to calm down about BitCoin. There has been an explosion in the virtual currency’s price in the last few months. Below is the 6 Month price graph as of the USD :: BTC conversion rate. Not featured on this chart are the years 2009 through 2011, on which you would see two more orders of magnitude growth at the very least. Phenomena like this don’t come along that often; charts like these forge millionaires and financial legends. As appealing as the fantasy is, we have not yet seen how this particular instance of virtual currency will pan out. Which is why everybody needs to calm themselves. Virtual currencies (vTC) are not a new thing; far from it. There are quite a lot of them out there, just as there have been many incarnations of the mobile phone, the social networking site, the blogging platform, and almost any other technological advancement that has ever happened.
Archive for April, 2013
Online shopping may be where the attention is focused, but the brick-and-mortar retail store is still where 93 percent of total U.S. retail dollar volume goes. This, according to a new study from researchers at Javelin Strategy and Research.The new study also said that mobile payments will soon begin affecting the point-of-sale retail market in profound ways.”The retail POS market is evolving at a remarkable rate with the increased popularity of the e-commerce and mobile payments markets,” said Aleia Van Dyke, industry analyst at Javelin Strategy and Research. “Today’s consumers are demanding more digitized payment options to enhance their in-store shopping experience. The advanced features of non-traditional payment options like mobile and prepaid cards have encouraged adoption with today’s tech-savvy shoppers.”According to the new Javelin study, mobile payments will reach $5.4 billion by 2018. Admittedly, thats a tiny portion of retail POS purchases, which Javelin estimates will reach $4.2 trillion in 2018.
Bankers frequently ask us how mobile payments will generate revenues and profits. But an even more burning question may be: How much do banks stand to lose by not providing a robust mobile payments offering?
Some consumers maintain a combination of a checking and savings account and perhaps a brokerage account or mortgage with their bank. Consider the risk to that bank if a national retailer with a financial services franchise including thousands of branch outlets, or a new entrant such as PayPal, inserts itself into that customer relationship by offering a mobile wallet with enticing discounts and loyalty rewards.
In this worst-case scenario, the bank loses that valued credit card relationship along with the deposit base as the customer redirects his cash flow. The potential threat is significant: the six largest credit card issuers in the U.S. earned a combined $92 billion in revenue during fiscal year 2012 from their credit card businesses.
Now consider the possibility of these alternative players moving beyond payments by offering checking or bill payment services. Once they have convinced consumers to jettison their bank-issued plastic, they may begin to peel consumers away from their banks by providing products similar to traditional banking products, but with more attractive features at less cost.
Deploying a mobile offering is not solely a defensive strategy of course. For those banks seeking to grow, mobility offers a way to not only attract new customers, but to further engage existing customers and extend share of wallet. Mobility can help banks become more enticing to customers by enabling them to receive offers when and where they want.
We believe that mobile payment technologies such as cloud wallets, QR codes and near-field communication (NFC) payments will be the next big thing because of their rich feature functionality, so banks should be investing accordingly. Certainly, major payments players are already pursuing a similar strategy, including Google, Isis (the joint venture among AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon) and Visa. While NFC has not taken off as quickly as initially predicted, Gartner estimates that by 2015, approximately half of smartphones globally will have an integrated NFC capability.
Mobile payments will become mainstream in next four years – AIB Merchant Services – Digital Life – Digital Life | siliconrepublic.com – Ireland’s Technology News Service
“Consumers, retailers and technology developers will see mobile payments becoming mainstream within the next four years,” said AIBMS general manager Nigel Motyer, opening the event, which was attended by 150 people, including merchants. “Consumers will insist on mobile loyalty rewards and coupons, making their mobile shopping decisions based on this.”
Jon Rutter, director of product management for mobile solutions at US payment processing company First Data Corporation, advised merchants not to be complacent when it comes to adopting new technology. “Consumers have an increasing amount of power and will take business elsewhere if dissatisfied,” he warned.
“You have to get ahead of that curve, get in touch with your consumer base. Over 80pc of the world population have a mobile device. One-third of all Facebook usage and one-half of all Twitter use is mobile,” he added, explaining that consumers want a seamless experience. With First Data being an AIBMS partner, Rutter unsurprisingly recommended that merchants develop partnerships to leverage others’ expertise in m-commerce in order to keep up with consumer demands.