Payment systems are still muddled, despite recent innovation

In Customer Experience, Omnichannel, Technology by Kevin Kelly

payment,,payments, payment, customer expectations, customer experience, CRM, experience, innovation, technologies, credit card, nfc

It was yet another frustrating payment situation—you know, out with your friends and splitting the cost of dinner or suddenly, the entrance fee for an event is cash only. What do you do?

In the past I've gotten tangled in that IOU web I end up spinning with awkward questions and muted mumblings "don't you owe me…?" Money is simply awkward sometimes. But in my perfect world I would ask the person right then and there to simply deposit me the money with something like NFC. However, inter-bank transfers can still difficult despite the rise of applications like Venmo.

Venmo is an application that allows users to transfer funds to and from other users. I sent out an office email and the consensus is that Venmo is great for small amounts but less than ideal for larger amounts. One colleague highlighted the benefits of applications like this, "I'd prefer the immediate gratification of mobile payment. Besides, I rarely carry cash anywhere – typically pay with card for everything."

My colleague has a point: cash is becoming more and more uncommon. At the same time, I can't help but notice how many stores in New York City are still cash only or have annoying card minimums. Or the bias rental car companies hold against debit card users. There seems to be so many innovative payment systems but they are simply not in practice.

With Apple scoffing at NFC technology with their latest iPhone family, what is the future of payment systems that help resolve this issue? It seems as though retailers and vendors just can't seem to agree on systems. When are payments going to stop being annoying?

Find out more about innovative payment conversations at the 2014 Canada Customer Festival.