Mobile World Congress is taking place this week in Barcelona, Spain. It may just be the largest and least known conference in the world these days — unless you are immersed in the world of mobile technology.
If this conference isn’t on your radar, put it there immediately. More than 90,000 people attended MWC last year, and that number will likely be even bigger this year, as mobile wallets and contactless payments infiltrate every transaction, retail outlet and financial institution on the planet.
Diebold has been at the forefront of mobile-ATM integration, and the technology landscape continues to shift. We have developed solutions based on QR codes as a way to enable mobile cash access at the ATM. QR codes work by using the camera on most Android and iPhones. The downside is that the jury is still out as to whether or not consumers will embrace this client experience, and whether the processor community will support the transaction.
We have also innovated around NFC-based mobile cash access technologies. NFC has the advantage of using the same basic user experience as with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay, but to date a bank has not been able to utilize a bank-branded wallet to support their iPhone customers.
This shifting ecosystem presents an incredibly exciting time for companies that are ready and willing to innovate, which is what led our Innovation Team into some intriguing talks with a start-up company out of Israel called WiseSec.
Their engineers have developed a mobile payments solution that connects devices through Bluetooth® technology, yielding a very flexible technical solution that still presents the same user experience as a near field communication (NFC) “tap,” regardless of the phone’s operating system.
It’s a process we’re all growing accustomed to – tap your phone to pay or get cash from an ATM – and it enables banks and retailers to brand the experience themselves.
WiseSec worked with our team to implement the technology on Diebold ATMs, and currently runs their solution at one of Israel’s largest FIs. At Mobile World Congress I’ll be in WiseSec’s booth to help visitors walk through the experience on our 5500 terminal equipped with the WiseSec technology.
As the playing field grows, and non-traditional competitors flood the fintech scene, long-term success will require a willingness to innovate and collaborate, to get out of a comfort zone that some banks have been in for decades. But the really exciting part is that once you’re out of that comfort zone, you can start to create consumer experiences that actually differentiate your organization from the one down the block. Is your company culture enabling and driving innovation? Time will surely tell.
I’ll be with the WiseSec team in Hall 5, Stand 5D81 at Mobile World Congress Feb. 22-25. Are you at the show? Stop by the booth to talk about mobile, proximity services, branch transformation and more.