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Friday, June 5, 2020

Virtual futurecast explores contactless future

Payments industry leaders are predicting contactless payment methods will continue to scale in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Group Futurista. The media company hosted a June 3, 2020 webinar, titled “Future of Contactless Payments Post COVID-19,” in partnership with BBVA, Barclays, Banco De Portugal and Amazon. The futurecast included live panel discussions on Zoom with experts from around the world.

Futurecast participants cited research studies and data that indicates consumers and business owners are becoming more comfortable with near field communications, RFID, QR codes and other touchless payments schemes. Among the findings were Mastercard’s April 2020 study of 17,000 consumers in 19 countries who are using contactless payment methods.

André Løvestam, CEO of Zwipe, said next-generation contactless methods deliver peace of mind to consumers by offering a cleaner and faster way to pay. Citing Mastercard’s survey data, he noted that researchers found 40 percent growth in global contactless transactions in the first quarter of 2020. More than 80 percent of contactless transactions were valued below $25 USD, a range that had previously been dominated by cash transactions, he stated.

Near field gets nearer

Despite varying adoption rates across regions, contactless usage spiked globally in February and March, Løvestam noted. He speculated that increased usage was largely driven by contagion fears during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Consumers want fast, frictionless transactions without sacrificing security and privacy,” Løvestam said. “However, studies have shown that 38 percent of consumers feel that contactless is not secure and 51 percent are concerned about contactless fraud.”

Løvestam went on to say that biometrics and sensitive personal data are enrolled and stored in the secure element of a mobile device and nowhere else. This makes it difficult to hack into a chip card and hardly worth the effort for hackers, who are more likely to exploit large caches of data, he added.

Watershed moment

Additional themes explored during the half-day virtual event included how contactless payment schemes could drive financial inclusion among unbanked and underbanked consumers, slow but continuing contactless adoption in the United States, payment habits in Portugal and the United Kingdom, emerging cashless society trends, and how biometrics and digital wallets can help ensure that nations respond quickly to global pandemics.

Attendees used the virtual summit’s live chat feature to submit questions and engage in one-on-one video chats and networking with panelists and speakers. Speakers included Ritesh Jain, COO, CTO and global head of digital technology at HSBC; Robbert Wesche, product owner customer onboarding business clients at ABN AMRO Bank N.V.; Maria Khan, digital product owner at RBS; Anna Marekwica, senior manager, cards product and proposition for Barclays; Prakhar Jain, head, business development, external payments at Amazon; Rui Pimentel, head of unit for Banco de Portugal; Sergio Ortega, director, global commercial cards product owner at BBVA; Briony Krikorian-Slade, principal at UK Finance; and Kevin Mountford, co-founder of Raisin Bank.

“This is a watershed moment for digital payments,” said Prakhar Jain, head of business development, external payments at Amazon Inc. “Many of these payment types are already compulsory in India.”

Additional information about this webinar and future Group Futurista events is available at www.groupfuturista.com.

end of article

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