The 2013 Money2020 event showed a step away from an exclusive focus on NFC technology.
Though Las Vegas is alive and hyped at any given time, the Money2020 event, this year, created even more of a stir as news of the focus of mobile payments giants, such as MasterCard and PayPal, on the use of QR codes has turned tech predictions on their heads.
Ed McLaughlin from MasterCard was in attendance and revealed a number of insights.
McLaughlin is the chief emerging payments officer at MasterCard and he explained that while smartphones are a major part of mobile payments, they are not the only device in play. He stated that “a smartphone is a device, not the only device”. For that reason, there are many different technologies to be considered to provide a seamless and convenient experience. This also helps to explain why there is a movement away from a focus exclusively on NFC technology, in favor of complementary forms, such as QR codes.
QR codes help to make it possible for more gadgets to become mobile payments capable.
The demos of the MasterCard technology included the use of a smartphone, as well as a smartwatch, and even a credit card. Though not demoed, it was mentioned that the augmented reality glasses, Google Glass, have been tested along with the latest version of the mobile payments that includes QR codes, and it has been found to be quite effective, as well. Equally, no future plans for the use of that device were identified at Money2020.
MasterCard expressed that they feel the technology is simple and convenient enough that it will take only 2 or 3 uses from a consumer before that individual will regularly chose it over traditional credit cards. This includes NFC technology based mobile payments. However, due to the penetration of devices that are enabled with near field communication, QR codes will expand compatibility to a tremendous degree – particularly over the next few years and considering that the latest iPhones have been released without NFC.
With Google opening up their Wallet to non NFC transactions, both MasterCard and PayPal, used the Money2020 venue to unveil their decisions to keep QR codes in their mobile payments platforms for the future. It is likely that this will not be the last that we hear of these barcodes in this environment – particularly after the successes that are continually recorded by Starbucks using precisely that technology.