The Rise of 5G Means Great Things for Mobile Payments

August 13, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

You’ve likely heard a lot about the advance of 5G so far, and while you may not even be sure just what it is, you’ve been treated to opinions all up and down the spectrum suggesting that this will either make us all blissfully happy or give us cancer in our sleep. As is so often the case, the truth is somewhere in the middle, and a new report suggests that 5G may mean great things for mobile payments.

The word came from Steve Villegas, vice president of partner management at PPRO Group, who specializes in cross-border e-payments, one of mobile payments’ greatest strengths. Villegas points out that mobile shopping is on the rise worldwide, even in places where mobile devices aren’t the primary focus. 

Western Europe, for example, is seeing 43 percent of its e-commerce total being carried out via mobile devices, while in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, that number jumps to 55 percent. With 5G in place, the experience will be smoother, faster, and likely safer thanks to the number of additional safeguards that can be put in place by virtue of all the extra bandwidth.

Villegas also notes that with all that extra speed and bandwidth—about three times faster than 4G—mobile payments will benefit from greatly reduced lag and better overall customer experiences. Greater customization can play a part here—we all know that consumers tend to enjoy customized experiences that offer greater relevance to their lives—and open up new options for businesses to gather the raw data necessary to conduct analytics projects.

With PPRO itself pointing out that, in the US, 23 percent of e-commerce payments take place via mobile wallet and 49 percent doing likewise in China, it’s obvious there’s a decent demand for mobile payment mechanisms out there. Improving connectivity could go quite some ways toward making the overall experience better, especially if it’s planned for now. The use of encryption alone could go a long way toward preventing data breaches, and with traffic moving three times faster, that’s certainly a possibility.

It’s also vital to note that greater speeds alone won’t give mobile payments instant improvement. Retailers and others need to ready themselves now for the improved bandwidth that is to follow, lest they miss out on the opportunity to come.