6 futuristic payment technologies available today
The following is a guest post by John Rampton, founder and CEO, Due.
In 1888, Richard Bellamy published a sci-fi book, entitled, “Looking Backward," and he shared his ideas for the future, including the use of a plastic card that would enable people to pay for products and services, get them now, and repay later.
That sounds a lot like our credit cards.
Since then, books and movies have dreamt up some pretty incredible technologies that also have come true, including these 6 seemingly futuristic payment technologies that are either mainstream or on their way to becoming widely adopted:
1. Cryptocurrency:The very name sounds futuristic, but this payment technology has been in use for a few years now and is slowly gaining acceptance.Also known as digital currency, brands like Bitcoin have laid the groundwork for many types of altcoins to appear, even including a vanity currency made by Minecraft. Highly secure and completely anonymous, the currency works through moving a digital token of value within a distributed ledger system known as blockchain.The potential is that this futuristic payment system can do away with all legacy systems and the use of any financial institutions that have always served as middlemen in the payment process.Numerous organizations are exploring how to use it while some retailers, including Overstock and Microsoft, are already accepting cryptocurrency as a payment form.
2. Mobile devices:Our smartphones and tablets are becoming a preferred way to make payments with tap and pay as an alternative to using a card reader.With the emergence of more apps, consumers and businesses are handling all types of transactions from their mobile devices, including receiving invoices and paying directly from that emailed bill.These mobile devices are also fueling the on-demand movement in which a customer can order from their phone and go pick up their orders in a store sometimes in as little as an hour later.
3. Digital wallets:Apple, Samsung, and Google are some of the many companies that are proving that now is the time for this futuristic payment technology. Numerous retailers already accept digital wallets for payments , reducing transaction time and providing a high level of convenience for the user who no longer has to carry a physical wallet full of credit and debit cards.Digital wallets are also working for membership, loyalty, and gift cards so all of these can be left at home as well.
4. Wearable devices:The Apple Watch and other wearable devices are also proving that payments can be made in all types of ways thanks to technology. There are contactless payment options that speed transactions and work harder than ever to keep sensitive data throughout the payment process.Other types of wearable devices that work with biometrics are already in development that pairs a device to a person’s unique biology to ensure and validate the transaction and avoid any potential for fraud.
5. Social tech (peer-to-peer payments):Splitting a tab with cash is so yesterday. Now, there are apps that provide ways to instantly pay friends, family, colleagues, and others with just a mobile phone number or email address.The money is instantly transferred, allowing restaurant tabs or other group payments to be split up and covered in a much more efficient way.No longer does a group wish for the best that everyone has exact change or can make change because technology does it for them.
6. Tabletop payment systems:Restaurants, movie theaters, and kiosks are already using this high-tech payment system that lets the customer finish up their orders and pay at their table or a booth without involving any staff in the process. Not only is this convenient for customers who no longer have to wait around for staff to bring them the bill or their payment method back, but it also provides the restaurant with a way to add incremental revenue through the games provided on these devices.It also has buttons that encourage customers to upgrade their bill with additional drinks, desserts, and other options. The receipts can then be printed or sent to a customer’s email address, which then captures information that can be used later on for marketing purposes.
We’ve come so far from those visionary ideas of 1888. With so much out there and in play, it’s incredible to think what’s in store for the future of payment technologies?!
About the author
He was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine and a Blogging Expert by Time. He currently advises several companies in the San Francisco Bay area.