Pros and cons of two leading mobile technologies

by. Brian Day

In a recently released white paper, “The Mobile Payments Ignition Point,” I detailed the dramatic impact Host Card Emulation (HCE) technology is expected to have on the mobile payments marketplace. When paired with the right technology, HCE is poised to make it not only possible, but beneficial, for community financial institutions (FIs) to deploy consumer-centric mobile payments solutions.

FIs, telcos, device manufacturers, retailers and Internet giants will ultimately drive consumer adoption of next-generation payments. They just have to figure out how to play together first. A lack of agreement on one core technology to power mobile payments has also complicated issuer, merchant and consumer adoption. Simply put, a plethora of choices for both providers and consumers exists today.

In the excerpt below, the pros and cons of two leading technologies, barcode + cloud and Bluetooth low-energy (BLE), are explored.

Barcode + Cloud
Cloud technology for mobile payments is best demonstrated by Starbucks. A customer scans a barcode displayed on his or her device at the point-of-sale (POS); credentials are held in the cloud…the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), in partnership with Paydiant, has recently announced its plan to roll out a barcode + cloud mobile payments app similar to Starbucks. The MCX solution is reported to offer a different consumer experience than the Starbucks app because the consumer will scan a barcode produced on the POS device or on a receipt instead of displaying a barcode on his or her phone.

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