Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Paying through the Personal Area Network

Last week I wrote about my first-hand experience with Barclays Pingit App and how it failed at the final hurdle while I tried to enrol to the service; I still haven’t visited a branch to produce my documents as for me at least this defeats the whole purpose of Mobile banking.

The other day while researching I spotted Pingit was number 1 under the iTunes Finance section clocking up more than 400,000 downloads in its first 8 weeks. Why is Pingit proving so popular you may ask? I have a little theory that this is one of only a few services which verges on the use of a personal area network (PAN). PANs are computer networks organised around an individual and typically involve a mobile device; laptop, tablet or mobile phone.

Traditionally the PAN has shared our digital content around using technologies like QR codes, Bluetooth and MMS. With today’s always connected smartphone your PAN usage is rapidly expanding through to your social networks allowing you to share that content in seconds. With Pingit using the same PAN to make payments cashless, something the industry has been longing to make possible, how long until peer-to-peer payments with Pingit are conducted over Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?

Leveraging the personal area network has its advantages but it may also introduce unforeseen problems. Pingit payments are irrevocable and final so the onus is on the consumer who needs to makes sure the details are correct. But what happens if their Pingit account's PIN is compromised? Consumers need to have confidence and know that any new payment channel has an equally developed fraud prevention tool behind it.

There are now a range of mobile payment fraud prevention tools in the market but the most secure way of accepting payments is with the use of biometrics, like the awarding winning VoicePay service. VoicePay won 'Best Security or Anti Fraud Development' at the Cards and Payments Awards this year and clearly demonstrates that voice verification is no longer science fiction. The use of a voice signature removes the need for consumers to disclose card details, account passwords or even their PIN and can provide a truly mobile experience.

As banking becomes more personal and reaches out across our digital lives, so too will our interfaces with it. With services like VoicePay it's pleasing to know that despite the technology revolution and the digitisation of banking ultimately payments through my personal network will still be as approachable as talking to my friend. After all, my word is my bond.

No comments:

Post a Comment