Mobile World Congress: Looking Ahead

2nd March 2015

Mobile World Congress is the biggest European show of the year in our fast-evolving industry, and we’re looking forward to seeing first-hand all the innovative new products and ideas that are set to be unveiled. Mobile World Congress sets the tone, not just for what we can expect to see in the realm of mobile innovation in the next twelve months, but also in years to come. Already, Proxama has adapted to how the market is evolving, recently announcing its Digital Payment Division, which brings a complete end-to-end, cross card scheme, cross mobile device, digital payments enablement solution for global card issuers to the market for the first time.

No question, there is a future-gazing aspect to MWC that leaves us feeling inspired. So, at the show, I look forward to gaining more insight from my peers into how the industry is shaping up. Where might we be headed next and what more can Proxama do to pave the way to the future?

Mobile contactless payments in the developed world

2014 was a landmark year for mobile payments in many developed economies. It was full of game-changing announcements and industry advancements that will result in a total shift in the way consumers pay for goods, interact with brands, and use their mobile phones to engage with the physical world. Mobile payment technology made serious waves in the U.S. market with the launch of Apple Pay last September, and chatter also increased abroad. In the run-up to MWC, we’ve all heard rumours about other major players entering this space, and so it’s strongly believed by many that 2015 is going to be a boom year for mobile commerce. 

A recent Gartner report revealed that by 2017, mobile engagement by U.S. customers will drive domestic mobile commerce revenue to 50 percent of total U.S. digital commerce revenue. But what will it take to get us there? Consumer adoption remains a challenge, and both security and ease-of-use remain key issues that still need addressing. I therefore think that this year’s Mobile World Congress will feature conversations around security and mobile authentication using various types of biometrics, tokenisation and improved device security. We at Proxama have known for a long time that mobile device security can make payments safer than the plastic card sitting in our wallets, and many consumers are now starting to understand and believe this too.

Another huge stride in the U.S. is the impending EMV (Europay-Mastercard-Visa) liability shift scheduled for implementation in October 2015. This mandate will also help with security concerns as the EMV chip is more secure than the legacy magnetic stripe. It’s estimated that 40 percent of the world’s cards and 70 percent of its terminals deployed outside the U.S. are today using the EMV standard, and this new mandate will help the U.S. to catch-up. 

The future of mobile commerce in developing markets

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the next wave of mobile commerce is the penetration and opportunities it presents in emerging and new markets. Low-cost Android smartphones produced by an increasing number of manufacturers are helping to promote the democratisation of mobile payments globally. Consumers in many emerging markets are already very accustomed to using their phones as a payment tool using SMS-based services. A huge opportunity is now arising for all players in the developed world payments ecosystem – from merchants and issuers, to banks and phone manufacturers – to provide more feature rich use cases which are easier to use and compatible with global standards like EMV.

The transformation continues

We are on the cusp of something new in mobile, better technology for new transactions and better devices to help change consumer behaviour. No question, mobile payments and proximity commerce are already transforming the way consumers pay for goods, engage with brands and use their phones in physical locations – and will continue to do so in years to come.

Will you be at Mobile World Congress this week?  If so, feel free to drop me a line at hello@proxama.com. I’d be happy to show you a demo of our solutions and to talk more in-depth about our new Digital Payments Division.

1432106560NeilGarner_preview

Neil Garner, CEO & Founder, Proxama