LAS VEGAS — “The one who enrolls is the one who controls” – that is what BAI Payments Connect panel moderator Richard Crone called “Crone’s Rule” and, per him, if you get that you are on the fast track to mastering mobile payments.
The Tuesday panel’s title was “The Intersection Between Mobile Payments and Advertising,” but it swiftly veered into a broader look at the evolving payments landscape.
Crone’s point about enrollment is that when the mobile user downloads and uses your app on his or her smartphone, “you own the information, you own the relationship. The “app is your brand in their hand,” said Crone, a onetime senior executive at Home Savings who presently runs a consulting company.
When a financial institution loads an app on a customer’s phone, Crone elaborated, it gets insight into what that consumer is doing “before, during and after every transaction.”
Payments, he suggested, is “the gateway to more valuable insights.”
Another Crone slogan: “It’s about aggregating or being aggregated” – that is, the financial institution can choose to play the dominant role with the consumer, or it can accept a secondary role, subservient to other players. Crone left little doubt about which he saw as the wiser strategy.
Not every panelist seemed to agree with Crone. Vincent D’Agostino, an executive at JPMorgan Chase, echoed themes from prior speakers with his dissent: “It is the consumer who enrolls” and, therefore, he suggested it is the consumer in control.
Kareem al-Bassam, a PayPal executive, also dissented: “I do not believe it is about control anymore. It is about delighting the consumer.”
Bottom line: there is wide disagreement about next stages in mobile payments. But there is broad agreement that this is the next battleground.