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Incorporating mobile payments into your multi-channel collection strategy

Mobile can make it easy for business customers - SME’s, regional and global MNCs - to collect payments, as Barclays Pingit chart shows:

Source & Copyright©2013 -  Barclays

The customer scanning the QR code (Quick Response Code, a type of matrix barcode or two-dimensional barcode) on their mobile ensures that for the supplier of the good or service, there are no reconciliation errors as the correct product data is attached to the payment and incorporated in the daily reconciliation report from the bank.

Multi-channel collection strategy
Barclays moving the focus of their mobile App - Pingit from peer-to-peer payments to helping corporates collect their m-payments as cost-effectively as possible (and many banks and technology providers will follow), raises important issues as to how to incorporate mobile payments into your company’s collection strategy:

  • should companies put QR codes on all their invoices and encourage mobile payments for:
    • all products?
    • for specific products: which include? wish exclude?
  • in what types of business and markets should mobile be used? 
  • which mobile App should you support, as there is limited ‘real estate’ on a bill or payment area on the screen, e.g.:
  • (This will become a major issue when other banks and payment systems are able to provide similar functionality to Barclays Pingit)

Mike Walters, Head of UK Corporate Payments at Barclays, who is leading the Pingit project, is quite sanguine about the new competition that will eventually emerge, saying, “We believe these developments will drive sales and efficiency, and corporate treasurers need to assess where in their business this will have the greatest impact.” In other words, Barclays believe that their functionality will be able to match anything. 

Strategic choice between three party & four party payment systems
Corporates have a strategic choice between different types of payment systems:

  • three party payment systems, such as Barclays Pingit: customer-to-Barclays-to-merchant, i.e. both have accounts with Barclays (1 million + Pingit accounts). Other three party payment system systems include PayPal with 110+ million accounts
  • four party payment systems, such as Visa (2bn+ accounts) and MasterCard (1.5bn+ accounts)

It is easy to understand why the merchant above chose Visa and MasterCard - they have the most accounts by - and Pingit the best mobile App in Europe at present. But this choice balance could change, e.g. when Apple offers a really easy-to-use mobile payment App via their 500m+ iTunes accounts. 


In mobile payments, the QR code will be a vital part of most collection systems. The question is which payment systems to use with the QR code. The choice will vary by region and per country, see differences in China, and also is likely to change as new players come into the market and gain market ascendancy.

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