Celent Suggests More Mobile Payments Coming Soon

February 27, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

While banks will add mobile payments at a modest pace, says Celent, it’s apps that will really run with it.

Recently, Celent offered a report that suggested some interesting routes ahead for mobile payments. It projected some moderate growth ahead for retail banking, as more banks add peer-to-peer (P2P) payments systems. What might be a bigger change, though, is in the field of “contextual commerce,” where more apps add payment systems to everyday processes.

Essentially, Celent—as noted by senior analyst Zilvinas Bareisis—expects that hotel apps will have built-in payment systems for reserving a room, and social media apps will have similar systems included. Being able to buy clothing from a retail store right in the changing room is also possible—we’ve already seen how some of that might work with “smart mirror” technology—and potentially, users will be able to check into a hotel from an Uber ride.

Mobile wallets may suffer in this, however, because they may be a bit too cumbersome to see proper use. That’s just a could-be, though; mobile wallets have done a good job inoculating themselves against customer loss due to complexity by adding features, particularly the connection to loyalty programs.

These gains will have to continue apace, and add some extra gains besides, or be prepared to lose to basic card and cash transactions. Admittedly, mobile payments offer some speed advantages over the Europay / Mastercard / Visa (EMV) cards seen so far, and users can quickly check a payment against a bank balance.

Businesses want to handle their own payment processing, if possible, because the alternative is to pay someone else a percentage. Plus, when the app can handle its own payments system, there’s less a concern about where something will work and won’t work; the store’s app handles the store’s payments. That also means there’s no worry about falling out of favor with customers; instead of being relegated to the memory hole of “not on the main desktop,” customers will instead use an app that’s only used in certain situations.

There might be big changes ahead for mobile payments, and one that focuses less on independent systems and more on specific situations. That could be good or bad news, but planning ahead accordingly could be the real saving grace here.