The Logofication of Payments

LATELY I HAVE BEEN READING ABOUT UBER THIS OR UBER THAT, NOW THE TERM “UBERIZATION”, PER THE RECENT WSJ ARTICLE “THE UBERIZATION OF FINANCE”, HAS ENTERED THE LEXICON.

Logofication of paymentsSo let's introduce another buzzword, “Logofication”. I need your help to make it viral!
Logofication of payments as in Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, PayPal, Square, CurrentC and others are now battling for the hearts and minds of our digital wallets. So who will win and why, and why should we care?

Chase Pay recently announced they are throwing their hat in the ring. The TechCrunch piece “The Problem With Chase Pay, The Bank’s Forthcoming Apple Pay Competitor” pointed out the issue with the Chase mobile payment solution relying on QR codes has never taken off. Have you ever tried scanning the QR code on your mobile app when checking in for a flight or at Starbucks? The angle of screen and scanner has to be just right.

But the real issue is not whether QR codes are better than NFC for mobile payment, or whether tap and pay or dip a card for EMV is better than swipe for plastic cards. We have lived in a world of competing standards and payment types for a long time. When was the last time you went into a store and you did not see at least three or more logos; Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover being the standard bearers? Or have you noticed payment terminals now include more logos like Paypass and Google Wallet? Forget about online checkouts where in addition to the more or less ubiquitous PayPal logo, you can see more obscure logos such as WU Pay and Bitcoin.

So given all these options, is there a problem of potential consumer confusion? Maybe not. Nobody has a problem picking out the right credit card or debit card from their wallet and paying regardless of the ignorance they may have to what network is acquiring the transaction. We swipe or type, we pay, it works!

The real issue is simply ubiquity. When a significant majority of brick and mortar merchants and ecommerce sites are accepting the same payment methods and many consumers have the payment means in their real or digital wallets, the ecosystem thrives. I just attended a great discussion last week held at @ERoundtable for the #MobilePayNYC mobile meetup.  Bill DeSimone, a general manager at Chase and a key player in the merchant rollout for Chase Pay, spoke on the advantages and benefits of Chase Pay.  The real advantage, in addition to the fact that QR codes are more ubiquitous than NFC capable devices and that Chase includes the customer’s loyalty identification as part of each transaction, is that Chase will roll Chase Pay and its merchant partners out to its more than 94 million Chase card account holders. Bill also pointed out that now more than ever these merchants have a real reason to invest considerable sums to upgrade their POS systems for more secure card acceptance schemes to accept EMV and mobile wallets and avoid the liability shift that began on Oct. 1.

So expect lots of logos, lots of payment options, and more digital wallets. Logofication is here to stay.

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