It’s always interesting to watch the global payments landscape and see new products evolve to meet the use cases of the various local regions where they operate. Mobile payments in the US were an evolutionary extension of what was already a very robust telecom infrastructure; merchants that accepted payment cards already had card reading terminals or POS systems that communicated with the card networks, first through dial-up and later using the Internet.
In many countries, including India, mobile was truly a revolution because it created online card acceptance capabilities where none previously existed. While shoppers in the US are now used to dipping their chip cards in customer-facing terminals, Indian consumers pay for their market goods via mobile-to-mobile apps like Amazon Pay. After the shopper makes their selections in the store, they send the merchant payment via Amazon Pay, where the merchant receives a notification on their mobile device that payment has been made. Amazon has now taken this a step further by including voice announcements; the merchant’s mobile device now announces that payment has been received, allowing the merchant to focus on the customer without needing to check his phone to confirm successful payment. “Amazon Pay’s mission is to make payments reliable, convenient, and rewarding. With the launch of voice notifications for merchants, shopkeepers and offline merchants can easily see what payments they have received from their customers,” says Mahendra Nerurkar, CEO of Amazon Pay India.
In the US however, card brand interchange fees strongly incent merchants to utilize a payment terminal, which provides both the merchant and the customer with immediate confirmation of payment, making the use case for this feature less compelling for US merchants. However, as card acceptance and automated payments continue to expand in the US, look for features like voice alerts to become more useful.
Overview provided by Don Apgar, Director, Merchant Services Advisory Practice at Mercator Advisory Group