During my trips to Sri Lanka and Vietnam as an Eisenhower Fellow, I met with many promising innovators and change agents who were eager to build the d
During my trips to Sri Lanka and Vietnam as an Eisenhower Fellow, I met with many promising innovators and change agents who were eager to build the digital economies of their respective countries. These entrepreneurs were working towards the democratization of information and other resources in emerging economies.
As technology is becoming a center point to everything we do, users are all over the world are searching for faster and innovative ways to do every task, and this is happening on a global scale. Following this trend, the retail sector is quickly getting a makeover. With an exponential increase in online transactions, all the parties involved are striving towards protecting themselves (by securing their transactions).
Today’s consumers have more payment options than ever before. Besides using cash, they can use debit cards, credit cards, biometrics or mobile payment – the list goes on and on. In such scenario, embracing latest technologies like Fintech only boosts the security, reducing the number of fraudulent cases. However, given the clear divide between emerging and developed economies, it is very important for the latter to tread with caution.
I don’t mean to be against innovation. In fact, my entire career has been about pioneering innovation, and I’ve always believed that technological advancements affect the society in a positive manner. That being said, every industry should seize new opportunities to increase their productivity, in parallel with the introduction of next-gen technologies. The current debate surrounding payment technologies like Fintech is a perfect example of this.
When discussing the innovations in payment technologies, we only speak of Amazon Payments. Paypal, Apple Pay, and Google, which created quite a buzz during their release. The electronic media has bombarded the consumers with segments reinforcing that mobile payments are the next big thing. In reality, however, the technology behind mobile payments has many hurdles. For instance, only a fraction of retailers has payment terminals to accept mobile payments. Although no studies have been made as to how many retailers are accepting mobile payments, statistics suggest that nearly 50% of the American retailers accept chip-enabled cards. You can’t blame them for it because in the end what matters is to have an up-to-date payment terminal. If a vendor doesn’t accept a chip-enabled card, there is very little chance that he takes mobile payments.