Peer to peer payments are all the rage and massive adoption rates prove their utility. Venmo currently boasts 22.9 million users, Zelle is quickly catching up with an expected growth rate of 73% that will soon put it at 27.4 million users, and Square Cash comes in third with 9.5 million users. Even though Zelle is a newcomer, the provider processed over 320 million transactions that totaled $94 billion in its first year of operation.
These mobile payment solutions make life easier for consumers because they are able to easily send money to split a bill with friends or quickly check out at their favorite retailer. But there are a number of pain points that are creating trouble in mobile payment paradise.
Anyone who has ever used a peer to peer (p2p) payment platform has at some point been standing across from the person they want to pay, but were not able to easily look them up on their app of choice. If the recipient happens to have a common name or the user enters the recipient’s phone number incorrectly, scrolling through numerous profiles and not finding them can ruin the experience.
There are a number of solutions that mobile payment providers have tried to implement, such as scannable QR codes. But cracked screens can really put a damper on a payment that relies on QR codes, making it hard to carry out transactions.
More importantly the existing solutions don’t seem to get to the root of the problem: users simply want to be able to pay someone within close proximity without fearing that they’ve sent money to the wrong person. Instead of manually searching for recipients, why not make the process of locating p2p payment users in close range a bit easier? Of course users don’t want to match with a stranger at the next table, but within a few feet should be simple. Think of the ease of sending data with Apple’s AirDrop, but without irrelevant users coming up as options. Ultrasonic audio transmission makes this possible, with the added bonus of not requiring battery-draining Bluetooth. Using audio technology, p2p payment users can connect with the desired recipients and send money securely.
Security is an issue that is high up on any payment provider’s list and state of the art encryption is a must when sending payment details. QR codes unfortunately are prone to fraud which means mobile payment providers need a “sound” alternative. With speeds of up to 1,000 bits per second, sound now offers a secure method for communicating encrypted data using industry standard encryption, making fraud nearly impossible.
Cost savings are important for companies, as many of the services are provided to consumers for free. But sending and receiving payments isn’t free for mobile payment providers. Sound provides a highly secure way of executing real-time financial transactions using a software solution that is only dependent on devices having a working speaker and microphone. That means no huge capital expenditures on new hardware every few years.
When it comes to mobile payments in a business setting, hardware becomes a major problem. Whether it’s a function of retailers investing in multiple hardware platforms, dealing with user configuration error or changes, or diversity of mobile devices (some of which don’t support NFC or other hardware)—it’s a huge problem.
This is where it becomes clear that payments providers can streamline the checkout experience dramatically by taking a software-based approach that uses lowest common denominator hardware specs. Zelle’s meteoric rise to success can largely be attributed to the fact that it lives inside of banking apps. Users don’t have to download anything new or debate how secure it is. Other payment providers must follow the underlying theme of not overcomplicating the payments process. Meet users where they are and build upon the payment experience that works best.
Want to learn more about how to solve the biggest mobile payment pain points? Get in touch to connect with our team to explore how data-over-audio can help your business.