14th November 2014
Last week I attended Money 20/20 in Las Vegas, Nevada with our CEO Neil Garner. We participated in a number of insightful conversations with influencers, partners and customers, and gathered great insight from panel sessions given by industry thought leaders.
While at the show, we also spent quite a bit of time talking about some exciting news Proxama announced on November 4th – the company is in the process of acquiring leading EMV enablement and smart product management software provider, Aconite Technology Ltd. Having collaborated on projects since 2008, Proxama and Aconite will now officially come together to offer an end-to-end solution for card issuers and banks that will allow them to migrate from magnetic stripe credit cards to both EMV-compliant chip-based cards and contactless payment-enabled mobile devices.
There was undeniable energy at the show around not only the October 2015 EMV adoption deadline, near field communications (NFC) and Apple Pay, but the mobile payments industry as a whole. In fact, we gave countless NFC-enabled demos to those who stopped by our booth. These demos often took place alongside conversations about why NFC’s potential far exceeds just payments, and the necessity of an end-to-end migration solution for card issuers and banks, similar to the one we will enable with our acquisition of Aconite.
One of the most interesting panel sessions, “Connecting the Digital and In-Store Experience with BLE Beacons”, was given on the first full day and it really hit home with us. Panelists raised an important point about another one of our technology capabilities, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons. For beacons to reach their full potential, privacy and context must be considered above all else or we risk being the catalyst that turns consumers off from proximity technology altogether. Questions like: “Is there a limit to how much we engage?”, “How can consumers opt-out?” and “How can we be sure we are pushing the right message to the right person?” must all be answered first in order for a brand to successfully connect the physical and digital world through beacons.
Whether we’re talking about NFC or beacons, customer experience is the key factor all of these conversations revolve around. Today, the act of shopping is disjointed. Say, for example, a consumer is at their favorite retailer and remembers an email that was received a few days earlier with a deal for a new sweater. To redeem that offer, he or she must locate it on their phone, present it to the cashier, and then pay via an entirely different channel. With tap-friendly technology like NFC, coupon redemption and payment is synchronous and doesn’t require clunky extra steps. This creates a seamless shopping experience for the consumer from start to finish. Regardless of a company’s role in the mobile payments supply chain, every company agrees that the user experience must be seamless, or frictionless. In fact, payments should be invisible to the user.
With another successful Money 20/20 event under our belts, we gained a lot of helpful insight and validation as we further develop our proximity commerce strategy and work to make Aconite an integral part of our business. If we didn’t get the chance to catch up at the show, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn to strike up a conversation.
See everyone next year!
Pascal Caillon, GM of North America, Proxama