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Payment Card-Driven Mobile Payments Far From Dead

September 6, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

It’s easy, sometimes, to forget about the credit card and the debit card as little more than proxy tools. We connect them to our mobile payments systems, we use them online just by typing in numbers; what’s the point of the actual card any more? A new report from NXP Semiconductors, meanwhile, notes that the card-based mobile payments system is far from dead, and is in fact still going.

NXP’s Sebastien Clamagirand, who serves as NXP’s general manager of secure payment and identity systems, noted that the payment card still has “a long life ahead of it.” Easy to say, but how does he figure this is so? Simple; not only are consumers still using such payment cards every day, but card shipments are actually increasing, according to word from IBM. This is largely due to the new chip and EMV card systems emerging, but regardless of the cause, shipments are definitely on the rise.

Additionally, Clamagirand notes, the old “if it ain’t broke” philosophy comes into play here as well. Those who are already using payment cards likely will stick with payment cards, because it’s already working well enough as it is. Throw in the wide acceptance of such tools—from the biggest chains to the smallest pop-up kiosks—and there’s little reason to make the migration.

Sure, there are other options, and there will always be some who want to try the latest and greatest. Cards haven’t been resting on their collective laurels, and have also been innovating. New features, rewards programs, and a host of other options have lent the old credit card a whole new edge in the field; this is not your father’s Mastercard. Throw in the growth of biometrics to improve security and there’s only more growth ahead.

This leads us to the inevitable conclusion: if mobile wallet and mobile payments systems expect to get anywhere beyond being a front for credit and debit cards, they too will need to continue innovating. We’ve seen a lot of new uses for mobile payment systems, but new innovations for mobile payments themselves has been a bit light.

Now mobile payments tools must keep pace with credit cards or risk falling behind. Only time will tell if the card can continue to outpace the mobile payments tool.