PHOENIX — A standing-room-only crowd flocked to a BAI Payments session on mobile wallets at the Phoenix Convention Center and the panel’s plain message was: Stop dawdling and try something. Anything.
It is still early days in the mobile wallet wars – mistakes will get made – but probably the biggest error is doing nothing, advised Todder Moning, an executive with US Bank. His strong counsel at Monday’s session: Place many small bets on emerging technologies. That way you won’t get wiped out too early and you can stay in the field, learning and perfectin
Also from BAI Payments Connect:
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- Underbanked, Unbanked and Fraud
- Old Fraud Targets Still New Favorites
- Now Up: Cross-Channel Fraud
- On Mobile: Go Big or Go Home
The optimistic news for financial institutions: “The mobile wallet space is the banks’ to lose,” said Chris Gardner, a co-founder of mobile payments company Paydiant. “You have the customer relationships, they trust you.”
The same trust would arise in member relationships with their credit unions.
A point to ponder: even if you have been doing nothing in terms of mobile wallets, your customers haven’t. “You already have customers with mobile wallets. They are using Starbucks, Square, LevelUp,” said Capital One executive Paul Moreton.
“Find those customers and ask them about their experiences,” he suggested.
One forecast from Gardner: “There won’t be one mobile wallet winner, there will be many, just as there are with credit cards.” That is, waiting for the dust to settle and for the winner of the Google vs. PayPal vs. Isis vs. whoever brawl is a fool’s delay.
Gardner also observed that the winning mobile wallet won’t be about the payment – credit cards already do that quite well – it will be about the richer experience (rewards, discounts and more) that smart apps on mobile phones can deliver.
“It’s not about payments, it’s about the data and what can be done with it,” said Gardner.
Moning cautioned that all this mobile wallet mania is “really new” and that much remains to be discovered. He observed that if you do use your phone to pay at a retailer with a tap there is awe and disbelief by observers and that wonder underlines just how early days all of this is.