Billions of consumers armed with billions of devices. Many ways to pay. To accelerate mobile payments adoption, device manufacturers are challenged to design contactless payments functionality into products capable of enabling commerce.
And it’s fluid commerce that the consumer wants, with payments on the literal go, linked to wearables and cars, to speakers and mobile wallets.
Desirous though it might be, for OEMs, enabling such fluidity in commerce is no easy task when disparate processes need to work across a seamless continuum to make the experience valuable for the end user.
Consider the fact that beyond chips and the form factors (tablet, phone, etc.), turning a connected device into a payments device must also address account provisioning and payments security.
For the OEMs, a conundrum takes shape when seeking to add payments functionality to devices. The fact remains that manufacturers are expert at designing products and bringing concept into physical reality – but by and large, they are not payments experts. Sometimes it pays to enlist the services, then, of those who are experts in payments solutions.
To that end, NXP Semiconductors said Monday (June 4) that, in collaboration with Mastercard and Visa, it has launched mWallet 2GO, aimed at offering a secure end-to-end payments solution that helps OEMs and their development teams bring payments functions to all manner of devices, across wearables, mobile devices and the Internet of Things.
The overarching theme is one of streamlining costs and time to market as consumers expect payments to be intuitive, available when they want and across any number of hardware conduits.
NXP said Monday that the mWallet 2GO service builds on silicon offerings and integrates far-flung technologies, from near-field communications to application software development kits to Mastercard Digital Enablement Service (MDES) to Visa Token Service for account provisioning.
Among the first companies to deploy the payment solutions: Montblanc, the German luxury goods manufacturer. The firm is launching a mobile wallet solution tied to mWallet 2GO that, in turn, is connected to its new TWIN Smart Strap. That strap, said Montblanc in a joint statement with NXP, enables payments capabilities on the company’s luxury watches.
In an interview with Karen Webster, Rafael Sotomayor, SVP and general manager of secure transactions and identification at NXP Semiconductors, said that mWallet 2GO is debuting at a time when commerce is moving beyond PCs, mobile phones and tablets (the traditional bastions of mobile payments) to a much more fluid ecosystem.
The Internet of Things, he told Webster, is fostering an environment where “you may be able to use your screen on your phone, your voice in your car." NXP and its partners are eyeing a uniform experience for the consumer, no matter where he or she may be, or what device is used on the road or in the comfort of one’s kitchen, perhaps interacting with a home speaker.
The bigger picture is one where these devices offer a growing level of access and intimacy to consumers, said Sotomayor. The device itself? When it comes to payments, eventually it becomes just a part of daily life. By helping to ease design flow, the linkup between NXP, Visa and Mastercard can help OEMs of all stripes and sizes bring payments to devices of all stripes and sizes, thus boosting the adoption of mobile payments.
Hurdles remain to get to such ubiquity. The process to get commerce and mobile payments to flow seamlessly across form factors, said the executive, is a task that is “daunting in itself.” Stakeholders that must be connected include network operators, the banks and, of course, the OEMs themselves, said Sotomayor.
NXP, along with Visa and Mastercard, are seeking to democratize payments, and to allow smaller players behind all sorts of hardware and payments services to come to market.
“With mobile transactions, you are actually making a leap of faith,” he said, as the OEM enables access to the device to enable transactions between users and third parties. Done well, mobile payments can foster trust and customer loyalty. The Montblanc announcement shows a generational shift in retail, Sotomayor told Webster, as younger consumers take that leap of faith to a new, payments-enabled device. In this example, there’s a combination of the tried-and-true – the luxury watch, an analog concept (aka the timepiece) that stretches across centuries, now enabled for fluid commerce through the band, and not the watch itself.
Sotomayor said his company is operating with the concept of “end-to-end solutions” – across the NFC and security measures (for connection to the consumers’ banks and credit cards).
The integration of the technology means that “we are creating a package that is really turnkey for any shop in the world," he noted.