Around the world there is more and more evidence that the growth of mobile and Internet usage for banking and payments is accelerating. viz:
- in the UK, mobile transactions doubled in the last year figures from the British Bankers Association show. Brits have now downloaded more than 12.4 million banking apps while the number of transactions made using them has nearly doubled in a year, hitting 18.6 million a week in 2013
- in the UK, RBS now claims 5.6 million online banking users and HSBC says that 72% of all its interactions with customers are now carried over the phone or through the Internet
- in the US, American businesses have deposited more than $1bn through Wells Fargo’s Mobile Deposit app since it launched in late 2011. The free CEO Mobile Deposit service lets firms scan and deposit cheques and money orders using their iPhones and iPads.
Not only this, there are almost daily announcements of new mobile payment initiatives. Recently there have been two major announcements as major players try and promote their e-wallets.
Major initiatives from Google and MasterCard
In May 2013, Google launched a simple scheme for sending money to other people. It let users connect Gmail with a Google Wallet account and send money to a friend for free (from a linked bank account) or for a small fee (from a credit card). You send money by clicking on the $ button at the bottom of the e-mail:
Google is now starting to push the service to more and more Gmail users (there are 425 million) to encourage them to use the ‘send money’ feature. (What is important for Google is that the user has to sign up for the Google Wallet. This is vital for them as they try and match the 500m+ register users and their credit card at Apple.)
MasterCard has just launched its digital platform MasterPass (e-wallet) in China, enabling Chinese consumers to shop online and overseas, from MasterPass-accepting online retailers. China Construction Bank will be the first issuer to leverage the MasterPass platform to enable its digital wallet, LongPass which uses the global MasterPass platform, allowing consumers to purchase goods at any online retailers that accept MasterPass. Once cardholders have registered with LongPass, the checkout process eliminates the need to enter detailed shipping and card information with every purchase, as long as the user is logged onto the LongPass online platform.
MasterPass enables consumers to make online payments, while storing their MasterCard and other branded credit, debit or prepaid card information and shipping details, from any connected device including computers, tablets and smartphones. Currently over 30,000 merchants around the world accept the option to make online payments with MasterPass.
CTMfile take: These latest developments raise two important questions for corporates. 1)How can they use remote deposit to improve their collection procedures? and 2) what new services can they develop based on consumers and small businesses increasing preference for making payment by mobile devices?
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