We welcome the entry of major players such as Apple into the mobile payment industry. Their participation places focus on the way we will pay in the future, and bring the benefits of mobile payment services to the attention of the consumer. However, Apple's new service is based on traditional card payments, and will not make any fundamental changes to the industry.
For mobile payments to really become mainstream, we believe something more is needed - something that changes the way we perceive the industry and its structure.
Here are our views on what's needed:
1. There must be a clear incentive for retailers. SEQR's disruptive technology is based on an open platform that processes payments via our own "rails". This makes us unique. We are not dependent on the card issuer's infrastructure, allowing us to take out intermediaries and halve the transaction costs to retailers. Neither does our system require any investment. Instead of adding a cost to what is already an expensive card payment, we cut the cost - something welcomed by retailers.
2. The system has to be platform-independent. Apple currently has around 15% of the global smartphone market, and their new payment service only works with the new models, limiting the number of potential users. SEQR works on iOS, Android and Windows and supports NFC and QR codes, making it possible in principle for anyone with a smartphone to use our service. Thanks to our independence, we can quickly adapt our service according to what retailers and consumers want.
3. It has to be rewarding to pay with your mobile. The convenience that both Apple and SEQR share is beneficial, but we believe more is required, such as the opportunity to connect loyalty programs, benefit from unique discounts, shop in-store, while waiting for a bus, or by using your desktop computer, or to pay for car parking.
4. We are proud that SEQR offers all these services already, and that they are in use in Sweden, Finland, Romania and Belgium. Thanks to strategic agreements with the main suppliers of POS systems and discount/loyalty cards, we have come a long way to launch on leading markets such as the US and UK. Our extensive experience within the mobile payment industry gives us the know-how and confidence needed now that more players are entering the market.
We look forward to exciting developments in the mobile payment industry.
Seamless CEO Peter Fredell