Author: Barbara Seljak
Discussing The Mobile Wallet, The Cashless Society and Much Much More
We’ve just hosted yet another successful Live Debate, one in a series of thought-provoking panel discussions that we organise for the members of The Digital Banking Club. This one really kicked off with a bang (literally!) as The Company of Pikemen & Musketeers, a ceremonial unit of the Honourable Artillery Company (our venue!) heralded the start of the debate.
This introduction was symbolic of both the venue and the topic, which proved to be full of opposing views right from the very start.
Our topic, “The Mobile Wallet already exists. It is called Mobile Banking!” lent itself to a lively discussion with our panel not shying away from expressing their opinions. From a consultant to a banker, and from a researcher to an innovation strategist, we heard views on the definition of the mobile wallet, the cashless society, and the importance of customer’s wishes to be able to access their money via many channels: mobile, tablet, PC and wearables. What really resonated with me was that payments have clearly already moved from the physical to the digital environment for many consumers and the importance of providers listening to their customers and therefore ensuring that they innovate with their demands in mind.
If I think about the move from physical to digital, I am more than happy to pay for as much as possible via contactless however when my parents come to mind I have to acknowledge their slow adoption of digital. I can barely get my Dad to book plane tickets online – and with my Mom refusing to use a mobile phone altogether, I think my two baby boomers are proving very hard to convince to go digital!
Some of the panellists agreed. The banker’s opinion on the digital future was that there will be hardly any shift, meaning people will continue to use the same methods of payment as they have for years, and stressed the importance of gaining their trust first before they will even consider adopting new technology. The researcher also agreed that change will take time, and predicted a marriage between two giants, Apple and PayPal, which will kick start the revolution. The consultant also won’t be taking any chances, and will continue to carry his plastic cards around for backup just in case his phone dies.
On the other hand, the innovation strategist does believe there will be a shift, with people using contactless payments such as stickers on their phones to pay their plumber or babysitter. Dare I suggest this to my parents?