Contactless payment has been part of our everyday life for many years now, “and even more since the COVID pandemic”, as Olivier Guiot reminds us. This method is still evolving, especially thanks to biometrics, opening the way to innovations like cards that recognize fingerprints and voice recognition solutions. Companies now have the responsibility to make payment easy for everyone: our expert is convinced that voice recognition will be very useful for visually impaired persons, as “people want to be able to have control over their payments rather than having to trust a third party. The challenges of the future of payments should also focus on inclusion.”
Biometrics don’t only make every transaction easier and quicker, it also makes them more secure. Another branch of biometrics that is being researched is the use of artificial intelligence. In the future, AIs will be able to predict and prevent fraud by detecting unusual behaviors (for instance a password that would be written too slowly or at an odd time of the day). Olivier Guiot explains that security goes both ways, and that another important thing to make sure of is that payments should always be validated on the merchant’s end: “the payment should never be denied at a later stage because of, for example, issues with payer authentication. In my opinion, security is the cornerstone of every transaction”.
These new payment methods are integrated into e-wallets on phone applications, which enable paying online as well as in person. They also support digital currency and tokens. E-wallets are a valuable asset for both consumers and companies: for businesses, developing a proprietary e-wallet means having control over the quality of the customer experience, thus ensuring consumer loyalty while standing out from the crowd. For now, the Asian market is the one that benefits the most from these, with 60% of payments in Asia carried out through e-wallets, compared to 26% in Europe. These insights are yet to change with Europe’s aim to become a sovereign space for innovative banking. According to Olivier Guiot, European companies should also consider “super apps”, a type of application that offers a great number of different payment services and that is already a big part of Asian consumers’ everyday life.