The payments industry is one that, in some ways, is very opaque to most consumers. Up until the past few years, especially in the USA, most people simply swiped a card at a point-of-sale and just knew that this transaction showed up on their credit card statement or checking account. Swipe-based transactions haven’t really changed much. They were mostly fast and reliable when processed over the internet, but also susceptible to different types of fraud. As EMV (Europay, Visa, MasterCard, or “chip cards”) spread throughout Europe and consumers were looking for more convenient ways to pay, the industry started to adapt.
The Future is Now
The EMV roll-out began in the USA, technology companies (big and small) starting to launch solutions such as Google Wallet/Android Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and even products such as Coin. The challenge here was, and still is, mostly consumer education. Consumers have been so used to simply swiping their card so many times per day, that anything other than this proved to have a large user adoption cost. Finally, we are starting to see these technologies getting adopted. Google’s and Apple’s solutions have opened up to more banks and merchants. We are finally starting to see more processors and devices certified for, and merchants turning on, EMV transactions. The irony is that both of these technologies, while supplementary, are also in some ways competitive. Perhaps it is more secure to pay with your phone, than a card – even using EMV. Many consumers do not fully appreciate the security benefits of EMV and are also accustomed to faster transaction times – driving them to using mobile solutions. Leveraging a mobile device for a payment also opens the door to more intelligent loyalty solutions – a modern take on the old fashioned punch card.
At DishOut, we believe in embracing virtually all of these technologies and fitting what makes the most sense for each merchant. Our gateway supports many processors and we are aggressively certifying them, and a variety of hardware devices for EMV. On top of this, we are continuing to grow our mobile solutions both for payment and loyalty. We can process payments via QR code, allow a guest to bill off-site charges to their hotel room using only their cell phone or room number and even process gift cards and student ID cards strictly from a mobile device.