The Perspective 
Tuesday, 21 October 2014

By David McCracken
Livewire Digital

I don’t know about you, but it seems every time I’ve been in a Starbucks over the last few weeks, it seems like everyone is scanning their smartphone instead of paying with cash. The retail world is moving so quickly towards convenient technology solutions like these, and it’s showing no sign of slowing down. Craig W. Smith, founder of the New Channels Department at London retail giant Marks & Spencer, gave his predictions for the five pretty incredible in-store retail technology trends we will see in the next year. (Original source:

 1. First payment by smart watch

Smart Watch

Smart watch payment…because reaching into your pocket or purse is too much effort (not!) Smith predicts we will move beyond paying with cash, credit cards, or even smartphones, to paying with your wrist wear. The smart watch will establish itself as a credible payment instrument.

2. First Google Glass in-store retail applications

Google Glass

Google Glass applications are popping up in the medical and hospitality industries, and retail will soon join them. Retailers will offer applications like customer recognition, personalized concierge services and pick, pack & dispatch.

3. Personalized targeting with beacon technology

Beacon technology

Smith says retailers will start to engage customers with location-based personalized targeting. When customers enter a certain geographic range, retailers can send targeted promotions straight to their mobile phones.

 4. Pay and go using your mobile

Pay as you go

Have you been in a grocery store that allows you to scan your items as you put them into your cart? Picture the same thing…but with your smartphone. In the next 12 months, retail stores will trial software that allows customers to scan items as they shop and pay on their phones before exiting the store.

 5. Payment on shop floor will move from trial to full-scale rollout

Shop Floor payment

Some retailers are currently taking payments on devices like iPads, but mobile payment is definitely not without its challenges. Over the next 12 months, Smith predicts that hardware and solution providers will fix these problems, which will lead to more and more retailers adopting them. Mobile payments will move from proof-of-concept ideas into fully-fledged rollouts.

In which of these trends do you see the most potential? What other tech predictions do you have for the next 12 months?

Posted by: Admin AT 03:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Monday, 21 January 2008
For the last several months, I’ve been collecting and reviewing news reports about the world’s migration toward EMV compliance — the smart-chip-card standard that Europay International, MasterCard Worldwide, Visa International collaborated in 1999 to create.  Tracy_Kitten_3a.jpg
EMV isn’t new, but it continues to garner its fair share of media attention, and a number of software-testing vendors in the ATM space have taken an interest. So, I like to keep an eye on how the migration is developing, all the while wondering if and when the United States will make a move.
Snap: If you’re a retailer or banker, don’t sigh. The United States doesn’t appear to be making any movement, and Visa and MasterCard aren’t expected to put any pressure on card issuers and retailers anytime soon.
Canada’s migration to EMV has reportedly progressed smoothly. A number of factors, including experience gained from the United Kingdom’s migration and the fact that Canada has one electronic funds transfer network, Interac Association, have contributed to Canada’s success, says Ian Kerr, chief executive of England-based Level Four Software Ltd.
Level Four is working with banks in the United Kingdom, Canada and other parts of the world as those countries make the move to EMV. Other companies, such as Canada-based Phoenix Interactive Design Inc. and United States-based ACI Worldwide Inc. also are working with financial institutions throughout the world to help reach EMV compliance.
And as more domestic migrations occur, they begin to move at an accelerated adoption pace, simply because the industry is learning as it moves along.
“In the U.K., the testing piece was the last thing we did,” Kerr said. “We learned from that experience, and it's a lesson we’ve been able to use when we move toward EMV in other countries, like Canada. Now we test earlier.”
In fact, Canada’s success thus far bodes well for meeting the compliance deadline of 2012. Unlike the U.K., where the 2006 deadline was missed by banks and retailers alike, Canada appears to be on target.
Mexico’s EMV compliance deadline was the end of 2007. I guess we’ll soon hear how that country fared.
So where does that leave the United States? Well, somewhere in the middle, literally.
Contactless and EMV
We see more of a push in the United States for contactless payments. MasterCard this week announced that First Hawaiian Bank ($12.5 billion in assets) is issuing its PayPass debit card, which Giesecke & Devrient is providing. 
G&D specializes in smart cards. To date, it says it has supplied more than 10 million contactless payment cards to U.S. banks, and 2008 is expected to be a year of contactless growth in the United States.
MasterCard Worldwide also sees opportunity for its PayPass cards, which now total 20 million, along with 80,000 merchant-acceptance locations, in 20 countries.
In 2005, the Smart Card Alliance recognized Chase Bank USA for its innovation in the contactless space for the issuance of its “blink” credit card. Chase was recognized because its “blink” introduction marked one of the first innovative moves in the U.S. payment card space in more than a decade.
“We expect a huge change in smart cards used in payment applications between 2004 and 2010 and that will be driven by take-up of contactless payment cards in the United States ,” said Karthik Nagarajan, senior analyst for Frost & Sullivan, in “Americas Smart Card Market Analysis,” 2005.
There’s no question that fraud spurred the push for EMV adoption in countries throughout the world. Credit fraud has long been a problem in the United Kingdom. After the introduction of chip and PIN in 2004, the U.K. reported a 25 percent drop in card fraud within two years. The replacement of the easy-to-copy mag-stripe is to thank, according to the U.K. payments association APACS.
And while some recent industry reports have questioned how effective the smart chip will continue to be at curbing fraud, there’s little question that it’s more secure than the mag-stripe.
The same can’t be said for near-field communication, on which basic contactless cards are based. Radio frequency identification, which is typically used, has been challenged by a number of industry experts who claim it can easily be intercepted. While some argue that RFID transmissions can be encrypted like any other type of communications frequency, the mere openness of it all has left many skeptics unsatisfied that the technology is safe.
And though the technology that governs RFID and smart chips is, on a basic level, the same, the RFID chip fundamentally differs from the smart chip, which in and of itself is a mini-computer, capable of sending and receiving transmissions. The RFID, on the other hand, is very basic and dumb, only capable of receiving messages.
So, the United States is expected to continue down its road of contactless adoption, a stage that was set a few years back when Citibank introduced its “blink” card. But the move is a curious one, to say the least.
The argument against EMV migration in the States has largely fallen on the huge investment retailers and bankers would have to make. The costs associated with purchasing EMV-compliant POS systems and issuing EMV-compliant cards has made migration cost prohibitive, without having high card-fraud numbers nudging the initiative. But a move to RFID contactless puts a similar financial demand on retailers and bankers. POS systems must be replaced and cards must be reissued.
My question: Why are Visa and MasterCard allowing the United States to take a baby step when a leap makes more sense?
Tracy Kitten is the editor of ATM Marketplace.
Posted by: Tracy Kitten AT 10:22 am   |  Permalink   |  3 Comments  |  
Monday, 17 December 2007
Tim Burke, CEO of Electronic Art, regularly blogs about self-service on his company's Web site. The following column first appeared on that site here.
A recent NPR story talked about the use of a cell phone as an airplane boarding pass. Essentially, a message is sent to a passenger’s phone with a two-dimensional bar code, which serves as his boarding pass information. The ticket agent then scans the screen just as he would a paper boarding pass.

The use of a cell phone as a means of identification has big potential in the future. Imagine a kiosk or interactive digital sign being able to scan and recognize you by a bar code you were sent via e-mail. Or it may be able to recognize you via Bluetooth or similar technology. Imagine a kiosk that allows you to sign up for a program or service, receive a code via e-mail or SMS within moments and interact with the kiosk or purchase your product without cash or credit cards. This technology has a lot of potential uses and it is just waiting for companies to adopt it in an engaging way that provides real value to the consumer.

I recently became aware of a pay-by-phone service called MocaPay, which allows you to sign up for an account online and add cash to your account from your credit or debit card. You can then go to any merchant that accepts MocaPay and purchase with your phone. It works like this: You send an SMS to MocaPay with your PIN number, and it responds with a code number that is good for 15 minutes. You give the code to the merchant and walk away with your product. Your account is debited once you have used the code. The service doesn't cost you anything to use; the costs are charged to the merchant at a rate similar to a credit card transaction. Could this be the new Visa?

This young company is primarily targeting the early adopters who already embrace cell phones and SMS messaging. They are growing in U.S. cities with large college campuses, where this target market is ripe. They get the merchants and universities to sign up to allow this audience to purchase with their phones.

All great stuff, great ideas. Now we need customers and deployers to figure out when it's appropriate to integrate these tools for their projects. Could this be you?
Posted by: TIm Burke AT 10:58 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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