2 Maggio 2019

Digital payments getting more and more untouchable

The world of digital payments will revolutionize the way of making purchases, including expenses. Leaving the point of sale without checking out will be the norm.

Especially Millennials are ready for this new phase, for which the technology is now mature. What is missing is the electronic money culture, still looked upon with disdain by the Italian consumer, who is prone to a problem of financial education.

As highlighted by the Cashless Revolution report, Italy is left behind in the European ranking, 23rd in 28 countries. But, at the same time this data also show that there is still a high growth potential in our country.

There are two cases in retail where payment plays a different role. The mass market with numerous products in the cart in which check-out is an increasingly faster stop-and-go, thanks to the introduction of automatic pay stations, in which the consumer can pay quickly through electronic payment systems, and the product categories with high added value, where payment is the departure of a brand experience in which the consumer comes to purchase with a growing conviction.

Here in this context payments tend to become untouchable. A need that responds to the needs of consumers who perceive payment more and more as a waste of time and as something that damages their custom experience. For these reasons today, more and more innovative payment methods are being studied. In China, for example, biometrics-based systems are already being tested and used. Europe is also working in this direction: an example is contactless cards with a biometric chip.

These contactless cards activate the biometric chip of the fingerprints present in the card itself. In this case, there is a solution that could even become "zero click" with facial recognition systems.

How? In China, some restaurant chains make totems available to customers for the order. Eventually, a facial recognition system identifies the subject and automatically makes the payment. An unworkable system in Europe (at the moment) due to the legislation that provides a completely different approach to privacy.

The vast world going around to the invisible payment is constantly evolving, and it is difficult to imagine what tomorrow's spending will be like.