In the spirit of the New Year, here are a few global banking and payments predictions for the coming year.
1. Personalisation of Mobile
The data and hyper-connectivity provided by mobile devices is increasingly being utilised to personalise the retail experience. Mobile devices allow for greater customer-merchant engagement and interaction through location targeting and loyalty deals. While many mobile wallets have failed to achieve widespread uptake, personalised loyalty apps such as the Starbucks app have seen increasing success and it is likely that more companies swill follow this model.
2. Beyond Multichannel
Multichannel used to mean in-store vs. online sales. The advent of mobile in the form of smartphones and tables had blurred these lines considerably. You can now see customers in-store augmenting their shopping experience online. They can compare prices, check product reviews, and check stock availability, all while trying out the product they are interested in. Merchants will increasingly have to optimise the convergence of these channels to their benefit.
3. Cardless ATM transactions
The mobile is also looking to replace the card at ATMs. More and more ATMs will be offering cardless transactions which are processed via a mobile phone number and a one-time password.
4. Unattended payments
Unattended payment stations such as self-service checkouts are considered a win-win as they increase efficiency and reduce staff overheads. Because of this they are being seen in an increasing number of environments including: Car parks, retail self-service checkouts, vending machines, entertainment ticketing, travel, and much more.
5. Branch Optimisation
Meanwhile in the banking sector, while going completely branchless is still a way off, it is likely that there will be a move towards branch optimisation. This means an increased digitisation of transactions in order to deliver increased real time service and transactions that the mobile/always-on consumer has come to expect.
6. Disruption and Consolidation
David Marcus the president of PayPal has suggested in his prediction post for 2014 that this year will be one of disruption and consolidation in the payments sector. The large number of small start-up payments companies that have appeared over recent years are poised to shake things up in the payments market. While these small companies will be fighting it out for market share this year larger companies will have two choices, do some innovating of their own, or join forces. There is likely going to be a wave of mergers, acquisitions and partnerships from companies looking to marry innovation and scale or complimentary services until a whole new payments landscape is created.