Digital Commerce seminar reveals identity will be key to unlocking the potential of remote payments

December 4, 2015 | Ryan Andrew

London—Following the release of various high profile payment solutions, the ubiquity of remote payments seems to have taken a huge step forward. As businesses and consumers begin to embrace innovation in this area, those in the ecommerce industry are now faced with the dilemma of how to ensure remote payment solutions are delivered to market in the most effective way possible.

This was the purpose GSMA’s ‘changing payment’s landscape’ seminar, hosted on November 26. The event was attended by an assortment senior figures from across the industry, and featured speakers: Dave Birch of Consult Hyperion, Dennis Jones of JudoPay and Andy Campbell of the GSMA. The seminar was moderated by the GSMA’s Claire Maslen.

Experts discussed how remote payments would adapt to the rapid advance in digital technology and growing consumer demand. One of the central points of discussion was the how remote payments would be anchored in new ways in which data could be collected and used to determine identity.

Of course, data has already changed the way that both businesses and consumers approach transactions. This is exemplified by companies such as Uber and Airbnb, which have reached stellar heights in a short space of time, in part at least, because they have used customer data to create an identity, or reputation for each user, creating a new benchmark for everyday trade in the process.

For payment service providers, data can be used way swiftly ascertain identity to create streamlined and highly secure payments. According to Dave Birch, identity is the big opportunity in the remote payments market. Operators will be able to play a key role in creating secure, convenient and quick remote payments by virtue of their access to their customers’ data. This data can be used authenticate payments and for this reason, operators are in a unique position to assist banks by reducing the cost of authentication. Operators are already developing a secure authentication solution in the form of Mobile Connect, which can be applied to many verticals including banking, finance and commerce.

The GSMA’s Andy Campbell explored with greater depth how Mobile Connect might transform remote payments in the future. In his view, the greatest barriers to the growth of this market lay in lengthy checkout processes and customer aversion to surrendering bank details.

Mobile Connect could reduce fragmentation and help scale remote payments by allowing service providers to authenticate via Mobile Connect – for Campbell, ‘The world doesn’t need a new way to pay, it needs to make current ways to pay simpler’.

Dennis Jones discussed how the evolution of remote payments would eventually –and necessarily- result in the death of the (point of sale) POS terminals. Jones claimed that in the near future, ‘all payments will be done through apps’. In his view, apps are better able to harness data than legacy systems, can create a more interesting user experience and potentially result in a higher level of security.

In-app payments are likely to scale due to 2.9 billion smartphones now in use, as well as the recent innovation in mobile security and tokenisation, which effectively conceals a customer’s sensitive card information by replacing it with a substitute number. Tokenisation can also be applied to in-store and online payments, and according to Dave Birch, will be more important to the history of payments than chip and PIN.

This seminar was the first in a series of financial workshops hosted by the GSMAs Digital Commerce programme, designed to unite leading experts in the payment industry and accelerate the delivery of mobile commerce solutions.

On January 21, the GSMA will be hosting the next seminar in the Changing Payments Landscape Series – PSD2, and on January 28, the The Role of Tokenisation will take place. Both events will be located at GSMA HQ, London EC4 8AF. To guarantee your place, register today.

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