Eleven years ago, a senior payments executive called Alison Hutchinson joined a group of people with a unique idea. They could see that card payments were going to wipe out cash at the point of sale. A hundred years of customers dropping loose change in a collecting tin was in danger of disappearing. If only there was a way to enable people to donate a few pennies when they pay with their card.
In September, one of the great pioneers of computing, Sir Clive Sinclair, died. Despite the sniffy obituaries in many of the British papers about his less successful ventures, for many Brits of my age, he did something heroic; changing our lives by making us realise that computing is something open to everyone. Sinclair’s home computers took the digital world out of the academic and banking domain and put it in the hands of the masses. It’s hard to overstate the impact it had on the lives and careers of many of my generation.
A few months ago, I was walking past my local curry house when I saw that their neon sign was on the blink. It made me smile: now that, I thought, is some serious targeted marketing. Not only do they recognise that my name is Ian, but also that it’s late so I’m probably hungry... and they have created a whole new cuisine just for me! If only all small merchants had marketing that was as focused as that.
Down and out in London… and Brussels For almost 2 years now, wherever I go, I have been using an NFC-enabled payments ring for all my low value card purchases. Swooshing my way through the London Underground without needing an oyster or debit card is as satisfying today as it was on my very first go. Now that I reflect on my experience, it has occurred to me that only once in maybe 1,500 transactions, did anyone ever challenge me as to whether it was a legitimate method of payment.
In today’s fast-moving world, convenience and security are essential to success in payment. This has become even more relevant in the face of unpredicted challenges posed by the post-COVID ecosystem we now find ourselves in. Many behaviours have been impacted by the crisis, compelling consumers and merchants to move away from the physical world of commerce. In this article, we will focus on the Polish market, where these changes have been clearly demonstrated through dedicated studies.