Contactless Intelligence News Feed – Week 35

This may seem odd to put in a post but at Contactless Intelligence we thought that we would start releasing on the Contactless Intelligence site, the Weekly News Feed that we send out on a Monday morning. It’s a round-up of all the interesting articles we came across and tweeted the previous week. A kind of catch-up, if you will, for those not using Twitter as a real-time information source. We’ll be publishing our news feed on this site every Tuesday for a few weeks to see if our readers are interested. Enjoy.

After the release of last weeks report, commissioned by an ATM manufacturer, concerning the British public’s love of cash, we follow up this week with a Barclaycard commissioned report that tells us 80% of the British public recognises the ‘contactless payments accepted’ symbol with contactless transactions passing the one-millionth and month mark. In other words – everything is on schedule.

Or is it? That’s the difficulty in looking at these surveys, released during slow periods in the yearly news cycle ( ). Many of these reports want to paint too dramatic a picture – It was a success! – It was a failure! The truth lies, well, somewhere in the middle. Yes, contactless payments have made a huge leap forward but we are in no way, shape or form out of the woods yet. Seriously – 80% recognition factor? Only a million-transactions a month? These don’t really say that much yet. I personally don’t like these kind of reports as they give a kind of ‘mission accomplished’ feel to something that is going to require a lot more time and effort to achieve: a lasting change in payment behaviour and preferences, in favour of contactless transactions, as opposed to Chip and PIN or cash.

While I’m on a roll, let me make noises about another pet hate that I have at the moment – press notices that are released with absolutely nothing to back them up. My case in point is this avalanche of releases based around the use of the mobile POS dongle in the ‘Square’ mode. Last week saw another two announcements go out; this time from UK-based start-up SumUp ( ) and UK/Germany-based Payleven. These two companies also join the likes of mPowa and iZettle in payment acceptance dongles for tablets and smart phones.

The problem? Despite their news release, (that basically consists of ‘Hey everyone – we have this fantastic news product – look at us – we’ll rule the market’), we can’t find anyone to talk to. I don’t mean no-one will talk to us. I mean that we can’t find anyone – even on their websites. Especially when we look at Payleven. I get really irritated when I come across this kind of thing. The market for mobile payments and mobile POS is already a little messy as companies fight for share in a market that is experiencing inflection points (see Intel’s Andy Grove But wannabe start-ups with venture backing and no understanding as to how to approach the market makes it complicated and messy for everyone involved.

But what could be more easier to understand than ‘first come, first served’? That’s what’s happening in the Czech Republic at the moment. At the nd of last week, Visa Europe, Komerční banka, Telefónica and Samsung announced that they were bringing mobile payments to the Czech Republic. The first 2,000 owners of a Samsung Galaxy SIII, who show up at 19 specialised O2 Guru stores across the Czech Republic, can simply swap their existing SIM card with a special payment SIM card. These SIM cards are available for free, with a pre-charged credit of 250CZK (10 EUR) from Komercni Banka and enable users to pay for goods and services with their mobile phones ( ). This launch builds upon the success of the pilot project carried out last year which, sources say, proved that the market was ready for this payments innovation. Now to me, that’s easy to understand and is a true gauge of interest and involvement. I can’t wait to see what the results are …

Oh, and for all our mainland Europe Newsfeed readers who are reading this on a Tuesday morning – sorry, but a bank holiday in the UK delayed release for a day.

Steve Atkins – Contactless Intelligence

This week on C-ITV

 Payments & m-Commerce

NFC & Mobile

Transportation, Ticketing & Loyalty

Other News & Opinion Articles



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