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Friday, September 11, 2015

Zooz Twitter series revisits global payment trends

New York-based Zooz, a global payment technology provider, hosted its third quarterly Twitter Roundtable on Sept. 9, 2015, engaging with panelists from around the world on trending topics in retail and payments. Participants included industry analysts, journalists and consultants, senior-level executives and professors of economics and finance.

Panelists used hashtag #paytech2015 on TweetChat, HootSuite, TweetDeck and other social media dashboards to participate and remain visible to others throughout the discussion thread. In opening comments, Moderator @Zoozpayments welcomed newcomers and returning guests and invited non-panelists to introduce themselves when posting commentary. The panel fielded questions on a range of payment-related topics such as mobile payments, continuing struggles at CurrentC, Square Inc.'s IPO filing, the U.S. Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) adoption, and Stripe versus PayPal Inc.

Apple Pay

The Twitter event coincided with Apple Inc.'s unveiling of a new generation of products at San Francisco's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. A live audience and millions of simulcast viewers learned of new developments and third-party applications for Apple Watch, iPad Pro and iPhone. Payment analysts expect these three product sets to broadly impact the future of payments and consumer behavior.

There are 10,000 applications available in the App Store for Apple Watch alone, a product said to be well-positioned for early majority adoption. Stars of the small wristband screen include Facebook messenger, a portable mass transit map and a secure medical app by Airstrip capable of monitoring the heart rates of unborn children and expectant mothers. Apple Watch can also leverage near field communication (NFC) to conduct Apple Pay transactions at the POS.

When commenting on Apple Pay, panelists noted a declining adoption rate and openly speculated on what may reverse that trend. There was a general consensus that mobile wallets will have a better chance to scale when EMV is more fully adopted in the United States. When questioned about Apple Watch and other wearable technologies, panelists were noncommittal, suggesting consumers and merchants have yet to cast their votes. Some observers believe Apple may well have addressed these questions and concerns with its new product showcase.

PayPal versus Stripe

When asked who will emerge victorious in the Stripe/PayPal battle, a majority of panelists named PayPal the winner, already a victor in brand recognition.

  • "My Mum knows what PayPal is. Enough said," tweeted Nick Holland [@nickster2407], Head of Mobile at Javelin Strategy & Research.

  • "PayPal. They have worldwide market penetration, brand awareness – they're a household name. Stripe isn't there yet," seconded Ben Yaniv Chechik, Head of Product at Zooz Mobile Ltd.

  • Bernardo Bertiz-Lazo, Professor of Business History and Bank Management at Bangor University responded, "Yep -agreed. There is an advantage to [being a cross-border] incumbent."

PayPal appears to be a cost-effective option for companies that process $5,000 or more in credit cards, according to a blog post by online subscription service Memberful that compared Stripe and PayPal transaction fees. "As you can see, $5,000 in monthly volume is an interesting data point," the authors wrote. "That's right around where it starts becoming cheaper to use PayPal." The authors also noted that PayPal remits in one business day compared to Stripe's seven-day remittance cycle. A full copy of the report can be found at memberful.com/blog/stripe-vs-paypal/ .

An ongoing conversation

The freewheeling discussion considered the issues of the day, with a deepening sense by all who participated that real-time chat is an appropriate venue to address the fast-moving payments ecosystem. Following are some conclusions noted by moderator @Zoozpayments:

  • Until EMV becomes fully adopted in the U.S. landscape, mobile wallets have their work cut out to get over the 'hype.'

  • Large banks in the United States, such as Chase which has launched QuickPay, are likely to implement their own branded mobile payment schemes.

  • Questions remain for mobile wallets and wearable payments.

  • With the EMV deadline right around the corner, the largest retailers appear to be the most prepared to accept and comply with EMV standards.

  • As we approach the end of 2015, security, back-end processing and global expansion are among the most crucial payments issues for retailers.

  • More cross-platform technologies, for example, multipurpose currency and loyalty programs, are expected in 2016.

@Zoozpayments also mentioned plans to storify the session on the Zooz blog, as well as organize further Roundtables. end of article

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