Mobile payments are set to go mainstream in the next one to four years and Canada is one of the leaders on this front.
MasterCard recently revealed the MasterCard Mobile Payment Readiness Index, which analyzed the state and adoption of mobile payments across 34 countries worldwide. The Index takes into account three types of mobile payments, which are person to person (P2P), mobile e-commerce (m-commerce), and mobile payments at the point of sale (POS). It also looks at consumer readiness, environment, financial services, infrastructure, mobile commerce clusters, and regulation.
Canada ranked second with a score of 42, ahead of third place United States, scoring 41.5, and behind only Thailand, leading the globe with a score of 45.6. The average score was 33.2 with a maximum possible score of 100.
While Canadian innovation and growth in this space is very apparent with PayFirma, Paypass terminals, BlackBerry’s inclusion of NFC technology in certain BB7 phones, and BMO’s Mobile Paypass tag, this solidifies that Canada is on the leading edge of this technology. The report noted that while the infrastructure is ready, and consumers are willing to use this type of payment, the mobile devices to support such payments are lagging.
While Thailand has the best infrastructure worldwide, their consumer base lags in actual use of mobile payments; Canadian consumers score relatively high. As a result, Canada is poised to be the first nation to replace cash and credit cards with smartphone payments.
A recent Reuters report showed 15% of Canadian retailers can process smartphone payments, which is expected to grow significantly by the end of the year. Furthermore, as the key problem with the Canadian mobile payment landscape is the adoption of phones that can process these types of payments, it is more a question of how soon will the adoption happen. Analysts have suggested Canadian mobile payments will take off at the end of this year.
It’s great to see the progress of Canadian technology and how it compares to the world. In British Columbia, they are going to push forward with secure chip cards that will act as identification for residents. The combination of these two really provides a great foundation for a secure method of payment. I dream of the day when I can tap my phone and tap my ID to make a payment. Quick and secure.