There are many challenges for credit unions in deliveringmultiple forms of mobile payment. The key in today's environment isstaying flexible and secure while giving members choices.

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Just a couple of years ago when Apple Pay launched, some creditunions were hesitant about joining the mobile payment movement.

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“Some had to pause and take the time to choose if they weregoing to participate,” Cindy McGinness, manager of digital channelsfor the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based CUSO PSCU, said.

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Today there are more options, including Android Pay, Masterpassby Mastercard, Microsoft Wallet, Samsung Pay and VISA Checkout.Additionally, larger retailers, such as Walmart and Kohl's, areoffering their own alternatives to emerging mobile payment systems, giving consumers even morechoices.

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“As the mobile wallets have been introduced to market, creditunions are more comfortable with the idea of mobile payments. Oncethey decided to participate in one then it was a much easierdecision to choose to opt into others,” McGinness said.

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However, more choices create additional, critical decisions forcredit unions.

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“The key delivery challenges from a product standpoint are timeand resources. Each wallet requires the credit union to getfamiliar with it to best support members in using theapplications,” Amanda Smith, manager of emerging products andintegration for the Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based CUSO CO-OPFinancial Services, said. “While the requirements for enrollmentsinto these new wallets are almost identical, they all take time toimplement and test.”

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BI Intelligence estimated U.S. in-store mobile payment volumewill reach $75 billion this year and anticipated a volume of $503billion by 2020. It also noticed while the mobile wallet ecosystemis maturing, in-store mobile payments are not yet taking off because of consumerapathy, coupled with delays in total implementation of therequired infrastructure.

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Apple Pay adoption, for example, is low, according to researchfrom the Dallas-based Parks Associates. Only 10% of iPhone ownershave used Apple Pay, and, among those who have not used it, 63%said it is because their preferred merchants do not support it as apayment option.

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“Only 19% of U.S. smartphone owners and 15% of smartwatch ownershave used a mobile payment app,” the firm said.

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Read more about mobile payment adoption at credit unions inthe Oct. 26, 2016 print issue of CU Times.

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Roy Urrico

Roy W. Urrico specializes in articles about financial technology and services for Credit Union Times, as well as ghostwriting, copywriting, and case studies. Also: writer/editor of a semi-annual newsletter for Association for Financial Technology since 1997 and history projects funded by the U.S Interior Department, National Park Service and Warren County (N.Y.).