Sunday 14 October 2012

Cardless or Cashless - which will be first?

Speaking to the Prague Post, Matt Lanford, MasterCard's Head of Prepaid Products in Europe talks about prepaid cards being influential in the rise of a cashless society, but that it is unlikely we will reach a cashless society within the next 5 years.

Matt Lanford, Head of Prepaid Products, Europe, MasterCard
Matt Lanford, Head of Prepaid Products, Europe, MasterCard
 Given our current use of cash, then its hard to disagree with that sentiment - especially when you consider that in 2011, 55% of payments in the UK were made with cash according to the Payments Council.

With the increase of digital wallets, virtual cards and mobile payments then it would seem more probable that we will see a cardless society before we see a cashless one. The speed at which we reach a cardless society is likely to be influenced by technical redundancy and adoption of common standards.

We've recently seen a number of high profile technical failures in the payments industry (such as RBS / Natwest) and consumers will need to be convinced that with an increasing push towards digital only payment methods, that they can still access their money and make payments when they want.

But we also need to see commonality over formats and standards for new digital payments. The consumer doesn't want to have multiple digital wallets / payment methods, and the merchant will not want to have to integrate with multiple methods either.

To achieve that, if digital wallets essentially provide access to MasterCard / Visa / Amex payments, then it raises another prevelant question for the industry - how to earn money from delivering payments?

Read the full interview with Matt Lanford with the Prague Post: Prepaid cards usher in the rise of a cashless society - Business - The Prague Post

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