Redefining the US Payment System
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User Rank: Author
7/10/2014 | 11:03:22 AM
Re: Fragmentation
Interestingly, thanks largely to the Target card breach, the mag strip is finally being discredited in the US. The EMV chip capability that Bruce discusses has been widely used in Europe but has been resisted in the US largely because of the fragmentation everyone in this chain has noted. So it looks like if anything is going to possibly unite banks, merchants & card companies it may be around security -- but probably less because of great insight into consumer needs, and more because no one wants to be the next Target.
User Rank: Author
7/10/2014 | 9:47:34 AM
Re: Fragmentation
One of the main impediemnets to accomplishing this, is that since the U.S. is such a large country, there are so many competing bank/mobile oeprator interests. In smaller countries, where there's a few big banks that have most of the business, and/or not as many mobile operators present, it's easier to set up mobile payments schemes. 
User Rank: Apprentice
7/10/2014 | 9:37:56 AM
Re: Fragmentation
We need the smartphone equivalent of the magnetic card strip -- a technology that's universally accepted at point of sale that any financing provider can access. (Though, as long as we're dreaming, lets' make it a wee bit more secure than magnetic card strips.)
Nathan Golia
Nathan Golia,
User Rank: Author
7/10/2014 | 7:51:57 AM
Re: Fragmentation
That's true — i just went to my local bagel shop and they have a mobile payment option, but I don't really see the utility of setting it up since this is the only place I could use it. They tried to eliminate credit cards in favor of it but it didn't take and so I can still use my card. Universal is good!
Greg MacSweeney
Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Author
7/10/2014 | 6:44:11 AM
There are many options for banks, as you point out, and mobile might be the most obvious one to jump on right now. However, the lack of consensus between banks, mobile network providers, mobile phone makers, retailers and so on creates a huge problem.

Many consumers would love to pay for things by waving their smartphone over a device, or transmitting a payment from their e-wallet of choice. The problem is, however, that without any clear direction from all of the parties in the payments chain, customers don't know what to do. Even if they have an e-wallet, they still need to carry cards for most of the retailers who don't offer any of the new types of payments in their brick and mortar locations.

Do you see any movement (in any direction) that would give customers some guidance? When will banks/retailers/mobile players start to align?

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