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    A single mobile wallet is far closer than many realise, reports KEVIN COLES.


    It’s in the development of payments technologies that we’re seeing some of the most exciting innovations in banking. The pace at which new capabilities are being rolled out demonstrates the vigour with which banks are responding to marketplace dynamics.

     

    What’s fascinating is the way mobile payment technology, pioneered in the consumer-retail environment, is now colonising the business-to-business market as corporates realise its efficiency and value-add flexibility.

     

    With over 100 million phones in the UK, there’s a huge opportunity for banks to innovate with the e-services that will shape the payments market. Banks and mobile providers are trialling near-field communications (NFC) payments which we expect will ultimately replace the card for all payments.

     

    At Lloyds Bank, we’re being asked by more and more larger companies about developing mobile and NFC technology for contactless payments. This year alone, we expect contactless cards in circulation to rise from 20m to more than 30m. Mobile phone payment facilities will also gather pace during 2012.

     

    Driving these technologies gives banks additional opportunities to harness traditional strengths – their knowledge of payments, risk  management, relationship building, exposure to domestic and overseas target markets and their focus on security.


    Online banking is already entrenching the way we manage our finances and is expanding rapidly onto new platforms. The Faster Payments Directive provides one impetus for change and the prospect of integrating banking with payments is compelling. The move to one device seems inevitable and, with the advent of mobile wallets, banking will become ‘on-the-go’.


    One example of burgeoning corporate interest is the growth of Lloyds Banking Group’s card acceptance service, Cardnet. Developed initially for smaller businesses with First Data, one of the world’s largest card processors, Cardnet is now being adopted increasingly by large corporate players like Primark, Virgin and the Whitbread Group, which includes Premier Inn and Costa Coffee.

     

    As the UK’s fourth-largest acquirer, Cardnet covers Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB, Diners and Discover. With its linked ClientLine website, corporates have secure access to their own 24/7 electronic oversight of all card transactions plus other market leading online management information.


    Among large corporates, Cardnet transactions are currently growing at twice the market average as FDs and Treasurers grasp its benefits for cash flow and FX management ,in both sterling and some 45 other currencies. But this is only the tip of banking’s innovative iceberg. As barriers like physical location simply disappear, how people bank becomes synonymous with the way they purchase. A single mobile wallet is far closer than many realise. For corporates, as much as for individuals, the implications are profound.

7/18/2019 2:05:37 AM