Aunkur Arya, waterproof mascara, and the future of mobile payments – VB Engage

VB Engage Stewart Rogers Travis Wright podcast


In today’s episode, Stewart Rogers and Travis Wright discuss the future of mobile payments with Aunkur Arya, head of mobile at Braintree. And if you missed last week’s interview with Mayur Gupta, make sure to check that one out.

What’s the big news? Android Pay has finally been released in the U.K., which means Stewart has been enjoying paying for goods with his phone. Samsung Pay is finally being released in Europe. Well, when we say “Europe,” what we really mean is “Spain.” Mobile users all over the world would rejoice, but it seems the main players in the mobile NFC payments space have a warped view of what constitutes a “global” or even “European” launch.

In fact, global payment solutions are a mess.


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In Europe and Asia, chip and PIN payments were implemented a decade ago, but in the U.S. you still (usually) have to swipe your card, a process that leaves your payment solution out of sight — especially in restaurants, where someone takes your card away to process payment. That’s dangerous, as you have no way of knowing if they’ve taken a photo of your card or are using a machine that captures your details to be sold.

Stewart discusses a personal experience in which his card information was stolen and the criminals racked up a $2,500 bill in a state he’s never visited.

In a nutshell, we need safer, more secure mobile payment solutions. And the mobile payments landscape is growing, thanks to Stripe, Square, PayPal, Venmo, and YoYo Wallet, along with integrated solutions such as Braintree, YapStone, and MagicCube. Coincidentally, Braintree powers both PayPal and Venmo.

It’s an interesting space with a lot of fragmentation, but it is also consolidating. NFC technologies are on the rise with Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay taking the spotlight.

Being able to offer seamless payment solutions is an important part of the customer experience these days. Uber’s seamless payments, for example, make riding anywhere friendlier and less stressful. You arrive at your location and simply get out. With a taxi, you have to fumble with your credit card or have cash (the right amount of cash – taxi drivers don’t like messing around with big notes and lots of change). And the biggest mobile payment solution (probably) isn’t even a payments app. We reveal all in this week’s episode.

Our guest today is Aunkur Arya, head of mobile at Braintree. Mobile payment is just one of the topics we wanted to tackle with our incredibly knowledgeable guest — we also get into mobile consumers, how they use their phones, and where the future will take us. And that means talking about chatbots: a conversation that takes an interesting turn when we discover that “real men cry…”

We know that who the consumer is determines whether they feel comfortable paying with their mobile device or retreat to their desktop to finalize the purchase. Many mobile users like to check out reviews on their phone while in stores and yet will typically still make purchases on their desktop or in the local store.

Aunkur Arya:

$25 trillion of commerce is spent annually worldwide. And with that, 10 percent is ecommerce, and only 1 percent is spent on mobile. Yet we’ve all seen research that shows the majority of time is spent on mobile by users, with anywhere from 50-60 percent of the time. We view this as a huge opportunity.

We also discuss how to help merchants make the payment relationship with their customers seamless, or at least remove as much friction as possible. Anytime we can make that happen, we build trust between consumers and merchants.

Tune in next week for our interview with Bryan Kramer — CEO of the award-winning agency PureMatter — in which we’ll discuss social sharing and personal branding.

Thanks to our launch sponsor Braintree for helping to make VB Engage possible. 

AI. Messaging. Bots. Arm yourself for the next paradigm shift at MobileBeat 2016. July 12-13 at The Village in San Francisco. Reserve your place here.

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