Security needs to be prioritised if the mobile electronic payments market is to take off. And paying by mobile phone needs to be as easy if not easier that paying by card if the public is going to embrace the technology. These were the messages from industry leaders preparing for this year’s Cartes electronic payments conference and exhibition in Paris from 6th to 8th November 2012.
Angelo Caci, director of European consultancy ADN’co, said the consumers were changing the way they pay for things and the industry had to get its act together to respond.
“With e-commerce and m-commerce, there are lots of alternative ways of making payments,” he said. “These can be specific to the user, can be over the internet or on a mobile phone.”
He said there was a growing interest in the mobile payments market and lots of companies were either entering or thinking about entering with technology or software products. And this was happening on all continents.
“It is hard to know which system will be the winner and be liked by consumers,” he said. “There are a lot more electronic payment companies. There are new players in a lot of countries.”
Pierre Lahbabi, strategy director for French bank BNP-Paribas, added: “There is more and more competition and it is up to the consumer to choose the solution that is best for them. Whoever is the best, wins. This is a good thing.”
But Caci said that any system that succeeded had to prioritise security.
“Security is a must in terms of trust,” he said. “If you have a problem with your security, then your image is tarnished.”
But the increased security must not be at the expense of ease of use, otherwise users will not accept it.
“The consumer wants less constraints,” said Gimena Diaz, commercial director for Paypal in France. “They want payments to be easier.”
And Eric Gontier, director general of payment services company Buyster, added: “If you want to buy something with your mobile phone, you don’t want to produce your credit card in the street and then key in digits into the phone. But you still need strong security and strong authentication, yet you need something that is very user friendly.”
Nicolas Raffin, marketing director for smart card company Oberthur Technologies, picked up the theme.
He said: “You need to provide a high level of security and everything should be simple.”
Cartes will be held in Paris from 6th to 8th November 2012