CHICAGO -- With the date for automated fuel dispenser EMV® integration pushed back until 2020, it’s tempting to see the payment issue as a closed case and move on, but three years is plenty of time for the payments industry to change drastically.
One recent survey from Dublin-based Accenture found that all forms of digital payment are expected to see an increase in usage by 2020. Usage of mobile wallets from tech giants such as Apple and Samsung is expected to rise by 8%, while respondents expect a 5% rise in the use of mobile-wallet apps from restaurants and retailers. Conversely, respondents also suggested their use of cash and debit cards for payment would lower by a few percentage points.
Even if the survey’s findings come true, cash and debit cards will still be the clear payment methods of choice by 2020, but consumer expectations will change as payment technologies evolve. Here are four advancements in the payment world that could drive those statistics …
EMV is a registered trademark in the U.S. and other countries, and is an unregistered trademark in other countries, owned by EMVCo.
Wal-Mart’s automatic refill machine
Some commentators are calling a device described in a patent application as Wal-Mart’s answer to Amazon’s Dash buttons, but the potential capabilities of Wal-Mart’s gadget could go far beyond Amazon’s one-click ordering tools.
Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart filed a patent in October 2016 for what appears to be an internet of things device that can monitor the usage of an item and automatically place an order if supplies are running low.
It’s unclear how this internet-connected tag would work or if Wal-Mart is even planning on turning the patent into a real product, but this technology could be a game changer if it’s released and successful, providing consumers with yet another reason not to leave their homes for day-to-day purchases.
Motion-tracker manufacturer Fitbit will reportedly launch a new wearable this fall that will come with the ability to make contactless payments.
It’s unclear what payment system the wearable will support, but introducing the market to what will likely be a more affordable alternative to the Apple Watch with payment capabilities could potentially lead to more widespread adoption of contactless payment.
Square’s not-a-debit card
Square, the San Francisco-based payment company owned by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, recently made the unexpected move of releasing a debit card.
Well, sort of. The card is not linked to a bank account, technically making it a prepaid card. The card draws money from the owner’s Square Cash app, a program originally designed to allow users to send money to friends and family online.
This seems like a strange move for a company built on allowing consumers to easily accept digital payments. It could simply be a way to give Square a leg up on competitors like Venmo. Or it could be the beginning of a whole new direction for the company. The “why” behind Square’s debit card is unclear, but it’s an important player to watch.
Consumers don’t seem to mind switching from swiping to inserting cards. What they do mind is having to wait while a point-of-sale system takes what seems like a long time to chew over the chip in an EMV-enabled card. And retailers aren’t thrilled about a slow payment system that can potentially drive away customers with long lines.
Previously, the fastest EMV card could be read in 2 to 3 seconds. Retail software provider Index, based in San Francisco, has developed a new EMV kernel that can be read in just 1 second. The new kernel is Level 2 certified from EMVCo, the body that governs EMV specifications.