abril 25, 2016 11:11 am
Mobile payment platforms seem to be the future, although in the United States these are already the present. When will the main and long-announced mobile payments platforms reach Spain?
Customers of CaixaBank will be the first in the country to be able to use Samsung Pay, announced for 2016, following a partnership between the bank and Samsung that will see the mobile payment service added as an option to CaixaBank’s host card emulation (HCE) based mobile payment app.
The platform is now available in the US, but not a word has been said about its launch in Europe. It would be logical to assume that this would take place before 2017. In this case, we have two key dates. One of them is the Google I/O 2016, the annual software developer-focussed conference held in San Francisco, where they may announce the arrival of this platform to Europe. If so, the announcement would be made in May. The other date is September or October, when Google usually presents the new Nexus phones. That would mean a launch near the end of the year. With Samsung Pay almost available in Spain, it would be fair to say that Google will be next in line.
Apple Pay is currently available in the US, UK, and China in participating retail stores and apps, and also available to American Express users in Canada and Australia.
Spain could be seeing an Apple Pay announcement in the first half of 2016. And the question is inevitable: will this arrival finally boost mobile payments in our country?
Since 2013 main banks have updated their equipment to allow payments with contactless cards, but their solutions to pay with mobile haven’t been very successful so far. Can you tell how many people you have seen in Spain paying with a mobile at a store? Well, I have only seen it one single time.
CaixaBank has an android application for NFC payments; BBVA offers a similar solution with BBVA Wallet, which has exceeded 800,000 downloads; Bankinter also has its own application. However, according to figures showing the Google store, none of them have achieved great success of downloads or usage. The goal of reaching millions of consumers is still a dream.
Carriers have also launched their own initiatives. Vodafone introduced Vodafone Wallet in 2014 together with La Caixa, a service that allows charges directly to the customer’s phone bill. There are also some local projects to make payments in public transport systems, as Mobilis in Valencia and Malaga, in partnership with Orange
The vast majority of projects have been forgotten or haven’t managed to keep the interest of those who tried. The technology is ready for mobile payments, but the current existing services are locked in. Soon we’ll see if Apple Pay will represent the change needed in the sector, or whether it will be another unfulfilled promise.