Small and medium-sized merchants are being overwhelmed with new ways to pay, new standards and regulations and more options at the point of sale than ever before. It was an attempt to tackle this challenge that brought together Mercury Payment Systems, Barclaycard and others, to brainstorm an idea for what the new point of sale should be. Our idea took first place at a recent industry conference.
The conference, the “Innovation Project,” organized by Pymnts.com, brought together the top minds in the payments industry for a two-day summit on the future of commerce.
The ThinkAThon competition brought together teams from across the industry to compete to solve a modern day payment problems with new ideas.
Our challenge: How can merchants, issuers, acquirers, networks and perhaps even consumers work together to reach the best solution most efficiently?
The answer we found was in mobile phone numbers. In addition to a pass code, the number could replace the 16-digit credit or debit card number to supplement the POS.
The idea is that the new POS technology would be built on an open platform that attach all personalized payment preferences, loyalty information, shopping preferences, etc. to the new payment token – mobile phone number and PIN.
This provides a common means for merchants to issue loyalty, offers, etc., while also protecting the consumer’s identity and information.
Of course, in order for this idea to work, we believe acquirers will need to create deployment standards for this platform, networks will need to adapt their rules so as to accept this new consumer identification system, and merchants will need to deploy it across all channels and train consumers.
No one on our team took on the challenge to build the open network (yet), but we are honored that the industry took notice of our idea. Mobile-empowered consumers are driving changes with how merchants interact with their customers.
It was an interesting challenge and we congratulate all the winners.