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The benefits of mobile wallets and knowing the most appropriate one for you

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We all have several cards that we carry on a daily basis. These cards range from several credit and debit cards, loyalty or gift cards, a driver’s license to membership cards for such places as the library or the sports club. If we are to store all these cards in our wallets, they would be too bulky, even though we were to put them in our backpacks, they would still be a load for us.

With all these cards to carry, we all long for that day when we will be able to hold our phone and be able to access all the cards you need for that specific day. Through a mobile app, mobile wallets are taking us a step closer to the realization of that aspiration. The mobile app can consolidate the credit, debit, loyalty and gift cards onto the phone.

However, these mobile wallets have become so many such that choosing the one that fits you well is now becoming a hurdle. One of the ways of determining the mobile wallet that suits your needs is by considering its functionality for different card types as discussed below.

Credit & Debit Cards

Primarily, your mobile wallet should store your debit and credit cards securely. Storing is not enough, but the wallet should allow you to pay with these cards using your cell phone. A good mobile wallet should enable you to store a variety of cards, such as branded cards, national and local bank cards as well as major brands cards.

Loyalty Cards

Almost every store, restaurant, boutique or supermarket you frequently visit will offer you a loyalty card. You obviously want to earn discounts and freebies from these places, but if they all give you a physical loyalty card, you will end up having a hefty stack of these cards. For this reason, you should choose a mobile wallet that allows you to store all your loyalty cards and enable you to track the points in every card.

Gift Cards

According to an article by Robert Teitelman and Lawrence C. Strauss, close to $1 billion in gift card went unredeemed in 2015. Gift cards go unredeemed because some are lost, others are forgotten while in others, unused balances left on the cards after a purchase goes to waste. You want a digital wallet that will help you spend every coin on the cards.

At Netclearance we offer the mBeaconPay, a turn-key mobile payment smart terminal and software solution which is a perfect match for all your mobile wallet need.

Banks can leapfrog third-party mobile wallets with their own solutions

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Technology is changing the world, day by day. And with each day, its reach broadens -- now, the smart phone has been introduced to two-thirds of American adults. And with those smartphones, the world of technology is reaching into an enormously consequential domain: finance. The flow of money across the globe, between individuals, institutions and vendors is incredibly lucrative for many, but there is an upstart in the traditional models of payment. Now, instead of swiping a credit card when paying for something, customers can use mobile wallets instead.

A mobile wallet, even though linked to a bank account, often is administrated by an outside source -- for example, Apple Pay. A customer paying with Apple Pay will draw money from their bank account, but use an app on their phone at the register. The upside to this is that customers no longer have to lug around all of their credit or debit cards; the downside, for financial institutions at least, is that companies that create and administrate these apps (like Apple, Google, et al.) charge fees to the banks.

Thus, banks are at a huge disadvantage -- and with the growth of mobile wallets, they stand to lose even more. If banks do not act to catch up to third-party mobile wallets, they stand to lose out on the important stream of money across the globe. However, some banks are slowly working on developing competing mobile wallets -- but they may not work, or may come to late.

For the financial institutions that are really aware of the importance of mobile wallets (like Danske Bank's MobilePay), they are taking advantage of turnkey solutions -- easily implementable systems that can help them make up ground and maintain their bottom line. Danske Bank, a leader in the field with 30,000 merchants across Scandinavia, has opted to use a solution called mBeaconPay by Netclearance. And it's working: the mobile wallet is among the top three mobile apps in the region.

So the question is really whether banks want to invest in their own success. If they use turnkey solutions like that offered by Netclearance, they stand to make up ground against third-party mobile wallets. If not, they have a long road ahead of them.

Making the Shift to a Cashless Society

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According to an article from PYMNTS.com, Denmark is the next country making the transition toward a cashless society. During the transition, retail locations such as restaurants and clothing stores will have the option to refuse any sort of cash payment, while supermarkets and post offices will still continue to accept cash. 

Denmark is only a recent example of a global trend toward abolishing physical currency. Other countries that already have begun shifting toward cashless alternatives include Sweden and Canada.

What are the benefits of a cashless society?

Cashless alternatives to payment make transactions more quick and efficient. Through the use of participating devices, such as smartphones, funds can be transferred instantaneously, streamlining the payment process. Any individual's payment information is linked directly to their device, eliminating the need for pocketfuls of cash, credit cards, and debit cards. A cashless society also means that money no longer has to be printed, saving valuable resources, such as the paper, chemicals, and metals that go into the production of physical currency.

Businesses can also benefit from cashless societies. Cash places a heavy administrative burden on retail locations, which can save time and money through the switch to cashless alternatives.

How can Netclearance help your business go cashless?

At Netclearance, we are proud to provide our clients with mobile payments technology solutions. Danske Bank MobilePay POS, which is spearheading Denmark's transition to a cashless society, is powered by our very own mBeaconPay technology, which works with and operates on a wide variety of POS and smartphones, allowing customers and retailers to exchange payment information in a quick and efficient manner.

It's never too late to take advantage of the worldwide trend toward cashless societies. Contact us today to help your business transition to cashless mobile payments.

Revolutionizing Proximity Payments Technology

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Over the past few decades, we have seen society's preferred mode of payment shift from physical currency to debit cards and credit cards. As time goes on, other forms of payment have emerged, and are poised to take over as our new preferred method of payment. Proximity payments technology is but one of these technologies, and consists of the use of smartphones in order to transfer funds between businesses and customers in exchange for products and services, transcending industries and finding more nuanced uses every day. According to eMarketer.com, proximity payments in the United States handled $8.7 billion in transactions for the year 2015. For 2016, experts expect this number to climb as high as $27 billion. If this trend continues, this means that this technology will be the main method of financial transaction by 2019.

How Does Proximity Payment Work?

Proximity payment technology consists of an exchange between a smartphone and another compatible device via Bluetooth technology, where the smartphone acts similarly to a debit or credit card, connected to a customer's bank account. Of course, this means that both devices in a proximity payment exchange need to have Bluetooth capabilities, but as time goes on, more and more devices are becoming Bluetooth compatible.

Netclearance vs. Other Proximity Payment Technologies

As proximity payment technologies have become more popular, many companies have tried to jump on this trend, each with varying degrees of success. Examples include Android Pay, ApplePay, and Samsung Pay. While each of these technologies are innovative, they all have their own issues that impede ease of access, including:

  • Usable only on phones they manufacture (walled garden effect)
  • Credit card based systems
  • User data shared with Google and other sites
  • No options for customization
  • Added fees

With our mBeaconPay technology at Netclearance, we want to help our users break away from these constricting qualifications, offering freedom through features such as:

  • Phone agnostic (supports all smartphones regardless of make and model)
  • App-based
  • User data shared only with relevant banks and retailers
  • No or low transaction fees
  • Customizable (white-label)

With such a stark contrast, it's clear why mBeaconPay available here at Netclearance is more effective than its competitors. Contact us today to find out more!

Banks' Uber Moment Leads Financial Institutions to New Financial Technology

A look back at history reveals numerous instances in which technology disrupts an industry. A century ago, the automobile displaced horses. A more modern example that also involves the automobile is Uber. Compared to traditional taxi cabs, Uber’s ride-hailing app offers consumers a way to get around a city that’s lower cost and more convenient to pay.

Cost and convenience are also driving changes in finance that some technology observers describe as banks' Uber moment. Technology is disrupting how people manage their money. Transactions that once required face to face interaction were replaced by online banking, where people managed their money via their computers. Now online banking is going mobile as smartphones and banking apps allow consumers to bank from wherever they happen to be.

This “Uberization” of finance is turning the banking sector on its head. A Financial Times analysis found that nearly 100,000 banking jobs were cut in 2015, which is roughly equivalent to 10 percent of the combined staff of the top 11 European and U.S. banks. Former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins last year warned that up to half of banking jobs could be replaced by apps and algorithms over the next decade, according to Business Insider. Financial technology enables consumers to make transactions smarter, cheaper, and often faster, he explained. Just as Uber is squeezing the taxi industry, financial technology will squeeze bank operations, leading to financial industry layoffs.

Banks will need to look ahead if they want to be part of the financial industry change, rather than becoming a victim of it. Financial institutions will need to embrace technology as both a standard way of conducting business and as a way to bring in new sources of revenue. Mobile wallets might be able to offer the solutions that banks need.

Netclearance Systems offers a solution called mBeaconPay, a mobile payment platform that enables banks to acquire new merchants and to offer payment processing services. The technology allows banks to perform these actions without any intervention from the credit card networks and to collect valuable consumer purchase data. Technology is changing the industry – for the better, we believe. Contact us to learn how the latest in financial technology can help you.

Nominated in the Best Cash Innovation category by PYMNTS.COM

Driving to incorporate IoT payments in wearables

Use cases for IoT payments abound. From keyfobs to wearables, they're beginning to show up everywhere. The biggest attribute it must have is that it is something precious to the user that they take with them everywhere, and that isn't lost or misplaced regularly. 

Many banks and card companies are looking towards wearables more than most other options, from rings to watches to fitness bands. American Express announced in April that it partnered with Jawbone for its UP4 band, using NFC technologies, a variation on RFID. Some estimates are that wearable proximity payments will be $501B by 2020.

Mastercard has also jumped on board. In October, they announced:

"The program will launch with the support of several marquee partners across multiple verticals to fit every lifestyle need. Designer to the stars Adam Selman, automaker General Motors, wearable technology innovator Nymi, smart jewelry company Ringly, and Bluetooth locator TrackR are among the prominent consumer brands enabling their products through the program."

The product makers plan to put IoT payment capability into clothing, keyfobs, wristbands and rings, among other items.

PayPal is working the process from the app direction, with apps for wearables containing most  of the functionality of the web-based program, and of course iPhones were at the forefront of IoT payments.

Many of these payment structures have been built like a house with many wings, adding on as they went. The state-of-the-art mBeaconPay platform has been built from the ground up to support all these use cases.

If you're in the market for your organization to develop proximity payment capability in wearables or other candidates from the IoT, we can help.

Nominated in the Best Cash Innovation category by PYMNTS.COM

Cutting Edge Mobile Technology Drives Move Toward Cashless Societies

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Retailers have long accepted multiple forms of payment as a way of catering to the preferences of their customers. While many consumers prefer credit or debit cards, there are still people who pay cash. But as consumers become more digitally minded, cash payments are going away for some retailers. Some countries, such as Denmark, are becoming cashless societies. The Danish government is considering a proposal to allow some establishments, such as restaurants, clothing stores, and gas stations, to refuse cash payments, according to Pymnts.com.

One motivation for cashless transactions is economic growth. Retailers spend resources on security and surveillance, Quartz explains. Making change for customers takes time. Cashless transactions reduce both transaction costs and crime. Quartz cites a McKinsey study that says electronic systems makes banking systems more productive while also reducing black market activities that skirt taxation.

The trend toward cashless transactions is perhaps furthest along in northern Europe. The United Kingdom first introduced contactless payments, where a consumer pays with card completes a transaction with a card reader through radio frequency identification or near field communication. The next wave of these cashless transactions is the mobile phone. For example, Denmark’s Danske Bank has over 2.5 million users of its mobile payment service, according to Quartz. In Sweden, the move toward cashless transactions is being spurred by banks, which use a mobile app called Swish that allows people to digitally transfer funds across accounts, FastCoExist explains.

Netclearance is helping to pave the way for cashless, mobile payments in Nordic countries. Our mBeaconPay software and hardware enables banks and retailers to process transactions wirelessly with mobile devices as if the payment were cash. Cash-based mobile payments may still be new in some markets but a growing number of retailers are adopting the technology. We can help your transition to cashless transactions. Contact us to learn more.