Wearables are widely expected to play a key role in major sporting events like the Olympics during which athletes and visitors will travel to the hosting country in droves; the use of wearables will be specifically explored in the areas of security, payment, and even communication. The technology industry is looking at developing a wearable translation device for such events. The device is said to also function as a payment device, so visitors can get around the city by public transport.
3. Introducing unparalleled flexibility with mobile payment apps
Mobile payment apps, such as Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay, share many common features. Most notably is the flexibility to support multiple banks and cards. All that is required is for the users to photograph their existing credit cards and the data will be immediately synced to the mobile wallet.
As security is always a major concern, these apps only work when the phone is unlocked, and employ tokenization to effectively deter fraud. The latter generates a transaction code unique to each purchase, which cannot be reused by hackers - in this case, no sensitive information is being transmitted.
For merchants, mobile payment apps are faster and more convenient, saving precious time and manpower. Quicker and easier checkouts in stores will also increase sales, giving consumers more time to shop. 2017 is the year to watch as device makers, financial institutions, businesses, and consumers embrace this new mode of payment.
4. The fintech industry is a force to be reckoned with in 2017
Contactless payment, wearable payment devices, and mobile payment apps are all innovations of fintech, which harnesses new technologies to provide differentiated financial services. A growing demand for frictionless customer experience had served as a driving force for the industry in the last couple of years. There are currently more than 5,000 fintech startups in the world, and the cumulative investment will exceed US$150 billion in three to five years.
Though fintech was pioneered in the US and Europe, Asia is catching up rapidly. Strong governmental support in Singapore and Hong Kong is contributing to a regional boom. Regulatory sandbox is fuelling growth as well. Take the Monetary Authority of Singapore as an example, it is helping to accelerate fintech innovation by relaxing regulation and dispending subsidies for start-ups working in the industry.
The development of fintech is fueled by the change in consumer behaviors and preferences. According to Gemalto's survey, today's consumers are becoming highly mobile, and value convenience and security above all. Among them, 62% use mobile banking apps; 68% would use these apps less often if they are not intuitive; and 48% would switch banks if they feel the apps are not adequately secure.
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