After the whirlwind of payments innovation in 2015, 2016 has felt rather stagnant in comparison for many payment technology enthusiasts. What is the story behind this lull and what does it mean for the future of Fintech?
The truth is that 2016 has been a significant year in the development of payment tech – some might argue even more so than 2015. While 2015 saw the introduction of revolutionary technologies, 2016 has been the year these technologies have been adopted and adjusted to best meet the market’s actual needs.
It is natural to have a lull between a technology’s entrance to the market and the next phase of technological development. When this happens on a broad scale and many solutions are released within a short window of time, the following period of inertia is compounded and this can be disheartening.
Rest assured, the industry is on the brink of significant innovation. Here’s a brief progress report on how some of 2015’s technologies have been integrated into the market in 2016 and how they have advanced since their introduction.
Mobile Payments have been a force within payments innovation for many years. They haven’t quite taken off, but innovators have consistently been pushing them as the future of payment, and every year brings a new wave of new e-wallet ideas and advancements. 2015 was a significant year for mobile payments, as leading solutions such as Apple Pay and Android Pay were introduced and gradually adopted by consumers.
In 2016, adoption has continued to grow as the products are being continuously upgraded. For starters, Apple plans to soon introduce its mobile payment solution for online purchasing and continues to expand the Apple Pay capabilities on its smart watch.
With the Apple Watch as one example, 2016 has demonstrated the potential of wearable payments technology. From fitness bands to smart watches, as well as the terminals that enable businesses to accept payments from these wearables, wearable technology became popular in 2015 and adoption expanded in 2016.
The last few months have seen a slew of articles noting the failures of the United States’ EMV transition. Transitioning to the chip and signature standard has been hard on the American public, though this was predicted prior to the shift.
For EMV cards, as with mobile and wearable payments, we can expect further strides towards smarter solutions now that consumer needs vis-a-vis these technologies are better understood. Do not be fooled into thinking the industry has plateaued; all signs lead to a peak in progress just around the corner. Don’t be surprised to see new advancements and upcoming releases in the coming months.
Oren Levy is founder and CEO of Zooz.