Five things we’ve learned about the mobile payments industry in 2014

This post is one in a series reviewing the industries that Gemalto works in in 2014. If you want to view all of the posts, please click this link.

As 2014 draws to a close, we wanted to reflect on some of the key events and milestones this year and consider what the payments industry should take from them. We’d be interested to see what you’d add to this list from your corners of the industry, or even as a consumer of these services.

  1. NFC acceleration – the technology of choice for industry giants: Apple Pay will help accelerate mobile NFC ecosystem adoption, creating a compelling, convenient consumer experience. Whilst not all have embraced the Apple ecosystem, there is no doubting that the 800lb gorilla of the mobile industry will lend momentum to this space. Similarly, With other announcements such as Valyou, ChinaUnionPay and HCE deployments, it’s clear that the market will embrace multiple NFC-based solutions
  2. Consumer appetite for NFC services keeps growing: You need only look at the success of London’s contactless transport infrastructure to see the impact it is having. Within weeks of launch, over 1 million contactless journeys were taken.
  3. The secure element remains vital for now: Whether in the Apple ecosystem or otherwise, including SoftCard, or more recently with China UnionPay. ensuring the security of credentials through a range of tamper-proof devices is key.
  4. Fragmentation of Mobile payment ecosystem: We are witnessing an increasing number of stakeholders: banks, network operators, device makers, OTTs, adopting multiple security frameworks: those include secure elements (both SIM and embedded options), Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) technologies, and emerging tokenization standards for both temper-proof devices and HCE (software) implementations. Each technology and platform brings its own benefits and challenges, and an understanding of how they co-exist is vital to ensuring you can offer consumer choice securely. This highlights the need for a Trusted Services Hub to help defragment the market and maximize the accessibility of NFC services to consumers, across a comprehensive portfolio of smartphones mobile networks and security frameworks
  5. Lightweight pre-paid services are seeing rapid growth: Even before the launch of Apple Pay we were seeing rapid growth in the rate at which consumers were signing up for services such as digital prepaid cards for mobile wallets (ex Serve with Softcard), as financial institutions can easily expand their brand visibility, beyond their consumer base and MNOs can easily offer payment services to their consumers , creating unique and compelling consumer offerings.

What else is on your 2014 m-payments list? Let us know in the comments or via Twitter.

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