Money, wealth, and the idea of possession have always been of prime importance to mankind even long before we became civilized.

However, the role of money and payments increased dramatically after we started settling in one place which gave birth to the early civilizations.

The Type of payments since then has seen some massive changes over the years.

In some ways, the shape of payment reflects the present state of our civilization. The earliest payment method known to us is bartering, which included the simple exchange of goods or services. However, it was inaccurate, inefficient, and took a lot of time.

Our payment method saw transformations as we started living in a more connected, settled, and organized manner.

That’s why we moved from the barter system to the representative money (shells, gold, and silver) which soon evolved into the coins.

Paper money then later evolved into the fiat currency which is employed in most parts of the planet today.

Perhaps, the most significant shift was from the paper money to the electronic money. The very first credit cards were introduced in the 1950s.

Debit cards were then introduced in the 1980s, which exposed users to the benefits of instant payments and ended the dependence on checkbooks and cash.

With the emergence of the net, e-commerce came into the scene. Companies like Amazon, PayPal, and eBay which started in the 90s began to grow exponentially by leveraging the power of electronic money.

The advent of the internet and smartphone gave birth to mobile payments through mobile finance solutions, which can be considered as the cutting-edge mode of payment. But how did it start? What does it look like now? And what can we hope from the future?

All these questions will be answered in this blog in detail. So, first, let’s have a look at its history.

History of mobile payments

1997 was the year when the mobile payment of services or goods was enabled for the primary time within the world when Coke in Helsinki came out with a beverage slot machine, where users could pay money for the beverage with just an SMS message.

Around the same time, the company Mobil also came out with an RFID device called Speed pass.

This device helped its users to pay for their fuel at the gas stations by simply slipping the device at or near the sensors placed on the pump.

These two services are considered because of the pioneers of mobile payment. Both the services were supported by the SMS and also the payments were made by a mobile account that was linked to the user’s device.

Initially, the payments were limited to smaller amounts and that’s why they were often referred to as micropayments.

The mobile payment systems based on SMS soon evolved into the world’s first phone-based banking service launched by the Marita bank of Finland in 1997.

In subsequent years, we also started ordering pizza and arranging travel from our phone.

In 2007, Vodafone launched one among the most important mobile payment systems within the world. It was based on USSD/SMS technology and offered various kinds of macro and micropayments.

2011 was the year that saw some major players like Apple and Google entering the field of mobile payment.

Google became the primary major company to come back up with its digital mobile wallet solution.

The wallet was supported the NFC technology and allowed the shoppers to create payments, redeem coupons, and earn loyalty points.

However, Google’s wallet was used as only one phone model and was accepted by a limited number of merchants. Even after all these limitations, it turned out to be popular among the users.

Apple followed Google’s footsteps to come back up with their app called Passbook in 2012. Passbook targeted coupons and boarding passes instead of mobile payments.

Although, two years later Apple launched its payment service in the US called Apple Pay at the launch of the iPhone 6. Later it was available in the UK and China.

The present-day mobile payment trends

We just show the history of the mobile payment. Now, let’s see how the presence of mobile payment looks likes.

  1. Contactless payments

As the name suggests, the contactless payments don’t involve any contact between the device and the reader. It lets the purchasers tap a MasterCard or wave their phones over the reader to create payments.

Contactless payment is faster in comparison to the inserting or swiping a card. Companies like Google, Samsung, and Apple have Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay respectively which uses the contactless payments.

There’s a large possibility of them growing furthermore thanks to many other factors like contactless card availability, customer demand, and business adoption. Let’s discuss them one by one.

Contactless card availability

The penetration of contactless cards in the US is the lowest in the world. According to a study by AT Kearney, the contactless card penetration in the US is only 3.5% as compared to that of the UK and South Korea which has a penetration of 60% and 96% respectively.

However, this scenario will soon change as US card issuers and Visa has hinted towards a rise within the availability of contactless cards within the future.

Visa has estimated that there will be 300 million contactless cards issued in the US by the year 2020.

Consumer demand

There’s a high demand for contactless payments among the users since its simple, secure, and swift.

Consumers prefer the contactless mode of payment because it reduces their waiting time at checkout.

Contactless transactions are faster than other modes of payment which enables efficient utilization of consumer’s time.

Contactless payment mode is also more secure than the other modes quite contrary to what many people believe.

When a contactless payment is made, the account data is passed from the mobile or card to the reader once it’s tokenized into a one-time code.

The consumer’s card details are never revealed in the contactless payment, making it more secure than the typical card payments.

  1. Smart speaker payments

Smart speakers and home assistants have witnessed tremendous growth over the years.

Amazon first to release its smart speaker in 2014. Whereas, Google came with Google range in 2016 followed by Apple in 2017.

Smart speakers receive voice commands from the users. The users can give different sorts of commands like booking Uber, getting information about the nearby restaurant, or getting weather updates.

Amazon has surely taken a lead when it involves payments made via smart speakers.

Many companies have also shown a keen interest in incorporating their payments via smart speakers. For example, Domino’s has now allowed all the users to put orders through Amazon Echo.

Earlier, Amazon had also decided to permit its smart speakers to be employed by several vendors for payments.

Talking about the long run of smart speakers within the US, it seems quite promising as BI predicts that there’ll be the maximum amount as 78 million users by the top of the year 2022.

The future of mobile payments

We saw the current trends in mobile payments. Now, let’s have a look at what the future has in store for mobile payments.

Advanced security with machine learning

Security is the driving force for the advancement of payment technologies. If the protection isn’t up to the mark then it causes difficulties in evolving the payment technologies.

Security may be a vital component in payments as a huge amount of payment data pours into the bank.

Scanning frauds from such a big lot is kind of a task and only specific machines and software can fulfill it. That’s the reason why many banks are looking for machine learning to accomplish this task.

Machine learning is a part of the AI umbrella. Banks constantly feed ML with new transactions.

This constant feed shows ML the difference between the normal transaction and the fraudulent one.

ML software studies these cases and learns to detect fraudulent transactions in real-time. ML keeps on getting better with more and more transactions and fraud detection.

You might have received text messages on behalf of your credit card company that asks you if the transaction is fraudulent.

All these messages are sent out by the ML software to warn you before any big fraud.

Criminals are finding new ways to con people and increasing cyber-crimes are proof of it.

As the criminals up their game, banks also make their security tighter than ever with machine learning technology.

Mobile point of sale

People’s payment preference isn’t the sole thing that goes mobile. With Mobile-point-of-sale (mPOS) technology, the credit card payment processing is going mobile too.

Mobile point of sale or mPOS units is the wireless devices that are made to mimic the sale terminals and traditional cash registers.

MPOS units offer simple, wire-free, space-saving, and convenient way for merchants to accept payments.

MPOS units set merchants free to go anywhere to accept customer’s payments. Earlier, this wasn’t possible due to the merchant’s legacy in-store payments systems.

With mPOS, there’s no need for a centralized checkout location. The customers don’t get to take their packages to the cashier, instead they will check up on it from any of the workers present there.

The number of mPOS devices in 2014 was only 3.2 million, which are estimated by Business Insider to go up to 27.7 million devices by the year 2021.

Biometrics authentication

Biometric is nothing but a measurement of physical characteristics like fingerprints, retina, iris, voice, face, vein infrared thermogram, eye, or a combination of all these characteristics.

The biometric identification has been quickly adopted by several banking institutions because of the latest sort of digital security.

Intech has already estimated that the PIN numbers are going to get obsolete.

In addition, with billions of shoppers relocating towards the computerized stages, presently it’s the interest of great importance for the budgetary organizations to gracefully a safe validation process in versatile installments.

And biometric identification has proved to be a safer alternative to the PIN or the other process.

Biometric authentication is receiving good support from the people, as 56% of individuals are saying that they trust the biometric methods over PIN to authenticate their accounts.

Social commerce

Today’s tech-savvy generation spends most of their free time scrolling on various social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and lots more.

Merchants and retailers have sensed this trend is looking to succeed in bent them via social media and offer them their products.

They also make sure that rather than redirecting the user to fill the shape out they’d rather utilize the instant and enable their users to checkout through the social media platform.

This method also makes payment streamlined and faster. Moreover, the catboats speed up the autofill helping and checkouts.


In this article, we show how the mode of payments evolved with time. We saw its journey ranging from mobile (barter) to mobile payments.

After that, we dived deep into the history of mobile payments and mentioned all the important events that shaped the longer term of mobile payments.

After the past, we looked into the present trends of mobile payments that are dominating altogether industry sectors worldwide.

At last, we show future trends in mobile payments. Trends which will further revolutionize the mobile payments forever.

The journey of mobile payments is bound to be crammed with drastic changes. And in the coming years, we’d see the mobile payments completely taking a replacement form. But what is going to be it, only time will tell.

Till then keep reading this space for more such insightful content.

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