When Can We Move From 2 Digital Transactions a Month to 10 a Day?

August 11, 2015     By : Amit

The digital money discussion right now is louder than it ever has been. Mobile payment companies are witnessing a slow but steady change in consumer behaviour. People are trying out Apple Pay and several other wallets. At LTP, we have profiled more than 1500 startups and talk to amazing innovators every week. All this is good but in the bigger scheme of things, all this is just a scratch on the surface. Don’t you think something is missing?

Let me ask you a question: how many secure mobile payments do you make in a month? Two or four transactions per month? Slightly more? Eight to nine transactions a month? Now, think about how many times traditional money exchanges (give and take) your hands; most probably five or 10 transactions a day. You probably know where I’m getting at with all this. In this article, I will try to build a case for a truly cashless world where all these transactions need to go digital.

If we want to move to a cashless society, we surely need to start thinking about several cashless transactions per day and not just monthly experiments. So, what are the elements that are missing and hindering the growth?

1. Cashless beyond the retail industry.

Most mobile payment initiatives are focused on the retail industry. The focus is very less on industries such as health, finance and government sectors which also have great potential. Mobile payment adoption is still at a stage of infancy in many countries when it comes to these sectors. Why payment innovators are not looking at sectors like finance, health and government? Is it lack of various kind of resources, or is it that there is no adequate infrastructure for mobile payments in these sectors? Many experts believe that it’s the latter, and that the infrastructure is lacking for a broader adoption of mobile payments in these sectors.

What is the solution? Mehul Desai explains it really well in his upcoming book August of Money – The Quest for Cashless Society, using the concept of ePlumbing. Mehul says, “ePlumbing for issuance & settlement can be an ideal solution for adoption, penetration and growing usage. ePlumbing for an omni-commerce, socially networked flat world needs to support everything from financial inclusion to stock trading to smart contracts to clinical trials to electronic voting. But what is this ePlumbing? An authorization infrastructure based on a universally accepted but distributed form of identity that is capable of issuing and settling a multitude of tokens—permanent and temporary—for finance, retail, health, education and government applications, across all channels, devices and data elements. If ePlumbing is wrong, everything else that is tried on top of it will not stand the test of time. If it is right, secure mobile transactions will surely rise to more than 10 per day. Even people will start leaving their wallets at home; society will slowly transform to a cashless one.”

2. Collaboration has been done in a wrong way and we need to fix it.

In order to create a truly cashless society, collaboration and partnerships would be important. As Mehul Desai explains in August of Money, “There have been many alliances, for example, between dominant carriers and banks in a particular market that essentially combine the strength of the participants rather than foster an ecosystem for all providers to leverage.”

Think about it for a moment. If Apple built all the apps on the app store, would you be using the mobile apps in the same way today?

After the failed attempt by the US carriers, there has not been any serious endeavour towards building a true industry-wide secure transaction ecosystem. We should not generalize things. Failures are always the pillars to success. The first attempt might have failed, but it is not necessary that further attempts will also fail. Enabling components that can help in personalized transactions will help mobile payments to grow equally in sectors like finance, retail, health, education or government. These components include the ability to aggregate disparate domains, to transact over all channels and all devices, to support transactions initiated by users as well as their designated IoT devices, to secure communications and data, to leverage data and the related analytics, to manage identity and privacy, to issue various tokens and settle these tokens in a closed loop or open loop environment.

3. Mobile wallets have been myopic.

Mobile wallets were perceived to disrupt payments, but the fact is that mobile wallets are relatively one-dimensional. Most of the wallets do not have a solution that addresses the ecosystem. There are 90+ wallets just in the US and most wallets have been myopic. At present, a heavy mobile wallet user cannot think of leaving their physical wallet. Acceptance of mobile payments at all places is still missing. Five years later, what is a mobile wallet really? It might not be what you think!

Mehul wrote in his book that “it seems that mobile wallets are more for the purpose of cash replacement instead of creating a cashless ecosystem. Whereas, the fact is that mobile wallet companies truly have the capability of shifting the society to cashless by including features that will be widely adopted by partnering with companies and retailers.”

While You Read…

Get ready for the upcoming book by Mehul Desai, published by LTP Studio. Help us finalize the cover design by voting on one of the options below, and register to get notified as soon as the book is published.

LTP Studio is excited to publish Mehul Desai’s new book, August of Money – The Quest for Cashless Society. The book will be available in digital and/or print format soon. We will be offering an “early bird discount” to everyone who help us in choosing the cover and are interested in getting a copy of the book (make sure you login to vote). The discussion around #AugustofMoney has already begun with articles, podcasts and twitter conversations. Join in to be part of the #cashless journey. Take the first step by voting for your choice of the book’s cover design:

LTP Studio is excited to publish the new book by Mehul Desai, “August of Money – The Quest for Cashless Society”. The book will be available in digital and/or print format soon. We will be offering an “early bird discount” to everyone who help us in choosing the cover and are interested in getting a copy of the book (make sure you login to vote).

The discussion around #AugustofMoney has already begun with articles, podcasts and twitter conversations. Join in to be part of the #Cashless journey. Take the first step by voting for your choice of book cover design:

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Podcast - August of Money

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Amit

Amit is the Co-Founder & Chief Curator of Let's Talk Payments. He has a strong background in strategy and market analysis and has advised dozens of clients (ranging from startups to Fortune 500) in payments, commerce and technology. His vision with LTP is to provide the same level of analytical rigor that analysts put into their work and combine it with Content 2.0 technology to offer unparalleled satisfaction for readers in this space.

If you have any suggestions or questions for the author, please email us at follow@letstalkpayments.com
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