None of us are strangers to remote controls. We’ve long used them to channel surf, open our garage doors, sometimes even re-set our thermostats before arriving home. They’re a major convenience we can’t imagine living without.
In that same way, many consumers have come to think of their smartphone as the remote control for their world. This digital device that’s always with them, now equipped with enormous computing capabilities, has empowered consumers to conduct their lives how they wish, specifically in terms of their commerce experience. And payments is a critical component of that experience.
Indeed, consumers’ growing adoption and comfort level with mobile technology has been a driving force in the rapidly changing world of cards, card programs and payments. Just within the past year, we’ve witnessed the launch of Apple Pay (and soon Android Pay), watched service applications like Uber move payments behind the scenes for transactions, and begun receiving EMV-compatible chip-and-pin cards.
EMV Lays the Digital Framework
For years, the payments industry remained static, with consumers using magstripe cards to conduct their transactions. But we’re now faced with counterfeiting fraud, resulting from that aging technology. To catch up, the payments industry is utilizing EMV as the framework that not only delivers dynamic, bi-directional communication, but does so in tandem with a more secure payment.
EMV’s chip-and-pin technology allows us to extend payments into the mobile world and empower the consumer to use their mobile phone as a secure payment credential—with scant fear of fraud—and ultimately gain a better experience than the one they had with magstripe.
The chip card is the first step toward making payments via card a seamless experience. The technology needed to create that bi-directional communications between the payment vehicle–card, mobile wallet, application–and the merchant creates unlimited potential to build tools that help consumers manage their money the way they prefer.
Technology is the Great Equalizer
Mobile payments and banking applications have leveled the playing field for community financial institutions in competing with Big Box banks, because they’re no longer geographically locked in by branch locations in order to service their customers. With affordable, bi-directional technology as the great equalizer, all institutions have a dynamic way to engage customers in full, personalized commerce—even if they relocate.
So now, the greatest challenge facing community financial institutions is that of adopting the right technology. When evaluating mobile and payments technology, pay close attention to how the tools integrate into your institution’s existing framework for core, mobile banking and Internet banking. To thrive, your bank must provide a seamless omnichannel payments environment that connects every customer touch point.
The world of payments is more exciting than ever. Now is the time to leverage the strong customer relationships you already have to build the perfect combination of seamless technology and service.
Derrick Bretz leads strategic product development and quality improvement initiatives within CSI Payment Services. In his role, Derrick enhances payment and commerce experiences and customer education through the use of data analytics, and provides leadership on mobile commerce initiatives.