The apparent theme that seems to be emerging from the news during this period suggests: ―Are the new payments initiatives now reality or still too bleeding edge? Asia Pacific has proved to be the most fertile ground in the past decade for contactless cards with Western Europe also seeing significant growth. 2009 showed the two Western European leaders as Poland and the UK respectively, with Poland showing the largest uptake with a 140% growth while the UK showed an impressive 80% growth in contactless card numbers, projected to be 12 million by the end of 2010.
Mobile, yet again, comes out stronger and more often in the press, but is anyone really doing mass mobile payments anywhere yet? Interesting to note that the normal frictions joining emerging technologies and solutions with mass banking is occurring as always – Citi Discloses Security Flaw in Its iPhone App (see below) being a good example…other articles about smartphone viruses etc…surely all this is just the norm around new channels/devices/technologies going through the maturity cycles into mass usage – unfortunately this probably means most of the ―exciting‖ changes will still take a good while.
Three major themes that are converging could indicate that the dawning realities of Payment Hubs could really be upon us; 1) Current infrastructures are needing major investment to just keep going, 2) Governments are redefining their definition of safe banking, and 3) The exciting new payment options are gaining momentum so one day they will need to be part of mass payments infrastructures. The good news is that solid Retail Bank Business Cases are starting to emerge with the 10 year roadmap charted, and PayX is certainly enjoying helping build these out. It promises to be a very busy 4th Quarter and an excellent 2011.