It is a fact that citizens habits are changing rapidly leveraged by new technologies adoption. The way in wich users and clients pay is not an exception. Likewise, retails and service providers are aware of it, and also traditional banks, telecommunication companies, technology-based companies and fintech startups that fight to gain a bigger slice of the market.
Mobile payment is, without any doubt, is key in the inevitable digital transformation of the bank sector. The firm Forrested, through its report at the end of 2014, predicted that mobile payments volumen will triple in the U.S. in only five years.
There are several trends that show off that users are ready and also demanding higher and higher this kind of services. According to the report Visa Digital Payment 2016, european customers that regularly pay with their mobile device have tripled in the last year (from 18% to 54%). According this report, the value is even higher in Spain: 72%. Furthermore, Spain leads the worldwide ranking about Smartphone adoption in 2016 with 96% of adult population owning unless one smartphone (other reports decrease the figure to 85%, impressive figure anyway).
Retail sector is evolving also. According Visa estimations, 70% of spanish retail’s POS support NFC technology, that allows for contactless and mobile payment.
Taking into account the above, Spanish market looks the ideal in order to deploy new payment mobile services. In fact, there are some actors that have chosen the country as the first European market to deploy and test their services (such as Samsung and Apple).
However, not all data support that trend. In fact, mobile payment in retails don’t take off definitively. What are the reasons if the market conditions look excellent? The diagnosis is not easy and perhaps involve more than one variable. I’ll contribute with two that are really important from my point of view. The first of them is that spanish users are not the most active ones, in spite of their leadership in smartphones adoption. We are not between the leaders in the mobile internet use. So, we have the tool but we don’t take advantage of it properly. The report Mobile in Spain and in the World 2016 shows it perfectly when it conclude that “spanish consumer is below the worldwide average using mobile payment with only 12%”.
The second variable is that the current market has been deeply dinamized with the new actors (telecommunication companies, technology-based companies, etc.) developing perhaps a too heterogeneous offer and generating confusion in customers. Like I said before, there are available mobile payment services of some of the big tech companies such as Samsung Pay and Apple Pay in Spain. Also, Banks have released their own solution: Bizum. Bizum is a service, supported by the main Banks, created to offer anintegrated payment service. Although, it has to compete against the specific solutions of each of the banks.
2017 will be a key year related with the consolidation of the mobile payment services. Probably, we will see the consolidation of some of these solution while others will disappear, causing a fewer offer but with more universal solutions. It seems to be true that the consumptions habits are changing inevitably and the market seems to be ready to start the race.
We invite you to see the report "Money of the future" of the program Objective of Aragon TV where you can know Zaragoza ApParca, a success case for regulated parking in Zaragoza developed by GeoSLab.