Dan Dufault, Merchant Warehouse's EVP of Marketing and Solution Innovation, looks at the future of mobile payments, as well as who and what will be driving adoption and innovation in 2013 and beyond.
There are vastly different opinions, or predictions, as to who will drive mobile payment usage - merchants through acceptance points and value-add or consumers through demand. What are your thoughts and why?
Dan Dufault, EVP, Marketing & Solution Innovation
I think we're going to see demand come from multiple angles. As the merchants and as the technology has evolved to facilitate merchants delivering a much higher level of value to customers, I think you see customers start to expect that value as they move through their day-to-day lives. So as the technology has evolved, the merchants evolved, the countertop, the consumers, the technology that's available to consumers in the form of the devices that they have in their hands every day.
They're getting more comfortable using QR codes to not only get discount codes, but now to make payments, to engage with loyalty programs with individual merchants or across merchant communities. So it's really powerful. And I think, as that whole ecosystem builds out, we'll see the demand increase substantially.
What are your predictions in terms of mobile wallet adoption? Do you foresee a clear-cut leader?
Well, the great news about mobile wallet adoption is there is not clear-cut leader. There's tons of opportunity for mobile wallets out there, and more importantly, with Merchant Warehouse's Genius solution, it facilitates the acceptance of any mobile wallet. So what we're able to do is provide that value to the consumer. It allows them to make the choice. It allows the merchants to have choice in the equation, and with choice comes value and success.
Many new payment applications also include mobile commerce, or marketing, extensions. What value do these deliver for the merchant? How about for the customer?
When you experience online mobile commerce through sites like Amazon, even Walmart.com now and so forth, the customer gets a much more tailored experience.
The beauty of technology being extended now to the merchant counter top, in a brick and mortar environment, is that those same mobile commerce opportunities, those same online commerce opportunities are available to those brick and mortar merchants.
This allows the merchant to provide a much more targeted engagement with the consumer. The consumer, therefore, gets a much more suitable experience to them, and hence a more valuable experience at the end of the day.