I read a fascinating article today in this month’s Wired. The Future of Money discusses a myriad of electronic payments systems and formulas including Square , Twitpay, and provides an flowchart comparison of how payments are processed using Credit Cards, iTunes and Paypal.
While the difficulties of security, transaction volume and the necessary usability of a point of sale to maintain transaction speed are huge hurdles to overcome, it is worth watching the latest ideas around electronic payment to see if there is an opportunity for usage in a point of sale environment. Based on the fact that the first article I wrote on e-payments was in 1995 on Mondex and its ilk, this may never amount to much. That said, things have changed enormously in 15 years with the rise of the Internet, Social Media and consumers’ generally increased exposure to technology. Social acceptance can drive a great deal of inertia, so there is no telling what tomorrow’s payment system will look like.