I attended the Second International Cashless Society Roundtable meeting in Dublin on 17–18 April, 2013. The event was dedicated to a shift from physical cash to digital currency. Therefore, different aspects of cashlessness, its consequences, and societal impact were in the main focus of presentations and panel discussions during the meeting.
Presented and discussed topics exhibited a wide range of questions related to cashless society, such as innovation in payment and financial services, capabilities of digital payments as multi-sided platforms, analysis of consumer spending behaviour, partnership in mobile payment business models, and so on. The participants of the meeting included both academic researchers from one side, and industry and financial sector representatives from another.
KTH Royal Institute of Technology was represented by Niklas Arvidsson (Indek), Jan Markendahl, and me. Niklas Arvidsson presented findings of his research on “Industrial dynamics and the transition to a cashless society”.
Jan Markendahl and I presented results of the common research “Lessons from Swedish mobile payment market”. One of its main finding is an evidence of a high level of fragmentation in mobile payment market leading to a negative consumer experience. This swedish example of the situation in mobile payment sector was rather new for the meeting participants, so, the presentation facilitated discussion about future and capabilities of mobile payment.
During the meeting, I presented findings of research on “Barriers to further commercialization of NFC pilots in Western Europe”. The main finding of the research was an identified set of interrelated macro-environmental, micro-environmental, and individual factors, which slow down the spread of NFC based mobile payments and services. The message was well accepted, and the presentation was followed by a discussion of barriers and possible ways to overcome them.
As Tatjana mentioned KTH was also represented by Niklas Arvidsson (Indek) and myself, Jan Markendahl. Niklas and I attended the first cashless society roundtable 2012 in Copenhagen organized by Copenhagen business School.
Next year, KTH will host the Third cashless society roundtable and it will be held in May 2014.
In Dublin we learned that Ireland is far from beeing a “Cashless society”. Mobile payments are not so common, people use cash and even checks!!
Compared to this Sweden is an interesting country for research on mobile payment solutions, services and business models. New payment, ticket and security solutions using the mobile phone are proposed, developed and tested by a number of new Swedish companies like Accumulate, Infospread, iZettle, Klarna, Payair, PayEx, and Seamless. Many pilot projects and tests for mobile payments have been conducted in shops, coffee shops and restaurants during the last couple of
SMS payment has been used for many years where the consumers have been charged for SMS payments using the mobile phone bill. In Sweden the mobile operators have joined forces and formed a joint venture, WyWallet, that offers a separate charging solution, i.e. not using the phone bill. However, this new joint venture has in most cases not been involved in the public procurement of new ticket and payment solutions initiated 2012 by the Swedish local transport companies.Instead, a set of new actors (in new constellations) have got these contracts and, hence, entered the mobile payment market.
In addition, Swedbank and other Swedish banks have developed mobile
phones solutions for payments in shops (Bart) and for transactions between bank accounts of private persons (Swish). The large retail chain has tested both
Bart and the SEQR payment solution by Seamless in a number of shops. The SEQR solution has also been tested by a large fast food chain.