Contactless payments are only useful if there are enough locations where consumers can use it to pay for goods and services. In the United Kingdom, contactless cards can now be used to travel just outside of Gatwick Airport, removing the need to purchase a separate train ticket. As most people might expect, ticket lines in the early morning, around noon, and the late evening, need to be avoided at all time. But when will we be able to use contactless payments at the airport itself?
Contactless Payment Cards Are Great, But….
There is no denying the contactless payment card has been a great innovation to make public transport a tad more enjoyable. No one likes waiting in line or shelling out cash to pay for a ride on the train, bus, or underground. Simply swipe the contactless card, and you will be on your way in no time.
Translating this method of payment to other areas has proven to be quite a challenge. FinTech companies are working on a variety of contactless payments, but they will all require a separate application to do so. Even tech giants like Samsung and Apple have to create their own locked-down ecosystem when they want to bring contactless payments to consumers all over the world.
In a way, the contactless payment card could prove to be less of a success in other real life situations, as it would still require consumers to carry their card with them at any given time. Without the card on them, people would not be able to pay for goods and services, forcing them to revert to other mobile solutions, plastic cards, or cash.
Even when it comes to digitizing the contactless payment card, there will be some issues. The biggest hurdle to overcome is funding the card itself, as this can be done on various machines throughout the city. However, without the physical card, topping up is pretty much impossible.
Furthermore, using a card for contactless payments still seems a bit strange, as consumers will have to scan the card very close to the payment sensor to make a payment. In some cases, such as with the Oyster card, users find themselves pressing the card against the yellow payment buttons more often than not, rendering the point of contactless payments all but moot.
The Future of Contactless Payments
At this time, it is very difficult to predict where the future of contactless payments will lie. Wearables are an unlikely candidate, although that is not preventing banks from exploring the technology. Mobile still seems to be the way to go, although it is hard to come up with solutions that do not rely on credit cards or bank accounts.
FinTech companies are trying to figure out ways to circumvent this problem, although it is pretty difficult to come up with a payment method that will gain global acceptance. Bitcoin could be one solution worth considering as the popular digital currency is gaining more momentum.
What are your thoughts on contactless payment cards? How will the future of contactless payments look? Let us know in the comments below!
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