Skip to main content

The Future Of Payments May Not Be Apple Or Android Pay


With somewhere around 85m users globally it would be easy to assume that Apple Pay has defined the future of payments, in store or online. Add in the anticipated 45m users who have adopted either Android Pay or Samsung Pay an you might think that NFC based tokenisation is the future for all payments.

That's a long way from being the truth.

In fact if you look at active users it may be two Chinese companies which are defining the future of payments – and there's no hint of Visa or Mastercard in either service.

With 450m users as of the end of 2016, Alibaba's code pay system Alipay is the biggest smartphone payment system world wide, based on usage in China alone. In a landmark deal at the end of last year Alipay arrived in Australia and it's likely that other countries with large Chinese migrant populations or significant numbers of Chinese tourist and student visitors will follow suit.

WeChatPay is Tencent's response to Alipay. Running on the WeChat platform, which is China's actual default mobile platform with close to one billion users, Tencent has built a peer to peer payment system which promises to further change the financial world and is already expanding into local ecommerce and retail payments.

With Chinese tourist numbers rocketing it's a good bet that both AliPay and WeChatPay will be coming to a payment terminal near you sometime soon. And if Alibaba and Tencent can cut the banks, Visa and Mastercard out of the payment loop you can guarantee Apple, Google and Samsung will be looking to do the same.

There's one other player to be considered here though: Amazon. It's the closest thing the West has to AliBaba and, in the US at least, has the scale and data to pull exactly this kind of thing off. It may not want to get into banking, but the financial benefits of doing away with credit card fees should be enough of a driver for it to look at ways of becoming a de facto banking service for its customers.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…

WhartonBrooks Indiegogo Windows 10 Mobile Even More Doomed To Failure Than Usual

WhartonBrooks is currently crowd-funding its latest Windows Mobile smartphone on Indiegogo. If crowdfunding isn't already a bad enough idea, a company trying to crowdfund a Windows Mobile device should be warning enough for you.
Not that anyone seems to be taking the project too seriously. With a few weeks left to run the campaign has managed to ensnare just 2% of its $1.1m target.
If you want a better indication of how few Window Mobile loyalists remain I doubt there is one. Of 3,900 Windows Phone enthusiasts Wharton Brooks was seeking for its new phone, it has managed to entice just 50.
Windows for Phones is dead, even if the corpse hasn't stopped twitching yet.