Moving Forward In The Emerging Payments Revolution

A credit union’s brand must rule in mobile payment devices.




The first steps in the predicted move toward a cashless society are being achieved, and financial institutions must find a way to facilitate the conversion of slow adopters to full-time users.

To date, the lack of industry standards and technology interoperability has meant that a mobile payments app that works on an iPhone won’t work on a BlackBerry. Likewise, while a consumer may be able to use a single credit or debit card for purchases, they may need to download numerous apps to pay for goods at different retailers. For these reasons, migrating consumers to mobile payment applications is particularly challenging for financial service firms.

Multiple Approaches Raise Questions For Consumers And Providers
Mobile wallet providers have sought market share through a variety of approaches including  NFC tap-to-pay, location-based payments, and mobile wallets containing various cards and merchant loyalty programs. Additionally, many different types of industries are trying to get a foothold in mobile payments. Telecom companies, card networks, software providers, chip manufacturers and, of course, financial service providers are just a few of the key players in the war of the wallets. But who will win? Other unsettled questions include who consumers will call when they encounter a problem and how exactly the different players will come together to smoothly handle the settlement process? Finding the answers to these questions will facilitate the inclusion of mobile payments into the suite of other available payment products and channels.

Opportunity Is Still Abundant For Credit Unions
The great news for financial institutions still developing strategies to integrate a full array of virtual and traditional delivery channels is that they still have a bit of time. The Rogers Innovation Adoption Theory shows that even if a credit union has missed marketing to the innovators or the early adopters of emerging payments, 84% of the market is still available.

Treat The Brand Like Royalty Everywhere
While credit unions should move forward and embrace emerging payments, it’s key to remember that all strategies must reflect a commitment to the primacy of the brand. When offering mobile banking services, the credit union’s brand should remain the organizing icon. The merging of various form factors in payments (e.g., the phone is not just a phone – it is now a phone, camera, GPS, music player, and wallet) can lead to credit unions getting cut out of the transaction loop. Branded delivery of payments on a mobile device will keep that from happening and keep the credit union at the center of their members' financial lives.

PSCU is committed to empowering credit unions to optimize the reach and impact of their brands with technology and partnerships that truly improve the quality of members’ financial lives. Its relationships with key mobile payments providers and innovators will enable credit unions to make their branded payment cards available to members for use in transactions using emerging mobile payments devices.

For more information, please contact Denise Stevens, VP of Innovation & Product Development for PSCU at




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