10 Things I Hate About Cashless Payments 1

Over the weekend i had a really bad cold (!!) and ended up watching a bit of TV. One of the things i watched was the film 10 Things I Hate About You, a modern day adaptation of the Shakespeare comedy The Taming of the Shrew. It’s a pretty cool film and the title somehow got me thinking about payments, and the love-hate relationship i have with mobile or cashless payments. There have also been recent stories and numerous surveys and reports on how cash is still king. So with that in mind, here is my take on the film with a payments twist – 10 Things I Hate About Cashless Payments….

1. Complexity of use

Each mobile payments solution is different, and when you put all of the various payments apps side by side they create complexity for the end user. Examples of pain-points include complexity around where (on merchant site/off merchant site) you are purchasing, the device you’re using, the sales point device the merchant has, how to configure your smartphone for payments, the mobile payment fees and whether or not the banks support the mobile payment scheme in question.

You could say you need a degree in Fintech to know the difference between the Mobile Wallets.

2. Confidence in the cashless payments process

Let’s suppose that you’re ready to pay through a mobile payment channel and the merchant accepts the mobile payment method, all good right….? Wrong! At the last minute the technology lets you down at the mobile mobile point of sale (mPOS). Or you’ve gone through the effort of downloading, configuring a mobile wallet app and then go to use it and your payment doesn’t process. Or you run out of battery. You’re unlikely to go through the rigmarole anytime soon… And when it appears as if the payment is being processed you’re sometimes left baffled. For example with Samsung Pay even the ‘experts’ aren’t sure if a payment has been completed or is still in progress.

3, Mobile Payments and Credit or Debit Card Payments Are Not Universal

Cash is universally accepted. Okay, I know i some countries are starting to move towards a cashless society – but that is a long ways off yet. Isn’t it..?

Anyway, with cash I can go to any shop, see the goods I want to buy, hand over the cash and hey-presto the goods are mine. The deal is done. I can go abroad, withdraw cash – okay, it may not be at the best exchange rate and i may get charged for the privilege of withdrawing my own cash in another country – but with that cash in my hands I’m ready to start spending.

Its not so easy with mobile payments, and even credit or debit cards abroad can be complex to use. There is no single and trouble-free mobile payments app that i can use with all retailers and in multiple countries. Is there…?

4. Security, What Security…?

Most of the latest mobile payments apps come with the hottest and latest security features, and that’s great. But, the technology is still fairly new and experiencing teething problems as well as some pretty concerning back door hacks. Altogether these plus several high profile cybersecurity breaches reduce consumer confidence in products that are being marketed as secure, and state of the art. And by the way, its not just Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, Paypal all have their fair share of security related problems

5. Privacy and Trust

Companies, particularly payments companies, will tell you that they do not share data with third parties, implement stringent data protection and privacy rules. Yet we continue to hear about data breaches, online hacks that expose our private details which eventually end up for sale on places like the dark web. Then there is the concern around data privacy, and the ability that mobile payments providers have to snoop on what you’re been purchasing and what you might like to purchase next…. Errm, no thanks!

6. Keeping Track

Right now, i have a few different payment apps. Managing and keeping track of all of mobile payments, cash payments, direct debits and card payments is a bit of a headache. And each time i make a mobile payment purchase it always suggests related stuff that i may want to buy. To make things worse, it remembers my purchases and keeps on prompting me to buy related items. Noooo…. leave me alone! Ok, rant over.

7. Retailers will only accept certain mobile cash applications

As a consumer I now need to find out which mobile payment methods a merchant will accept. For example, to pick on Apple Pay not all debit cards are compatible with Apple Pay and not all merchants accept Apple Pay. Unless the merchant makes it worth my while, by a long shot, I’m might as well stick with cash or a debit card and shop where i want to. I thought mobile payments were meant to take the pain out of payments….?!?! Before you point me in the direction of Samsung Pay, i refer you to the above security, complexity of use and data privacy points.

8. Show me the money…

Picture this, you’re at the merchants trying to get the best deal. This literally happened to me this weekend. Due to the recent storms in the UK I needed some new fencing and was able to negotiate a nice little discount by paying cash. I doubt a mobile payment would have had the same effect. Let’s face it, there’s no hidden fees and the transaction is about as real time as you can get… !

9. Confusion

Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Wallet or Android Pay as it is called now, Paypal, Facebook Messenger Payments…. Aaargghhh! Which one to use? Which one does my bank support…? If my bank doesn’t support one of these, should I ? What is the difference between the providers, what are the cost differences? The retailer says they accept NFC, why isn’t my device working? What about rooted devices? Should i care about the latest security hack? Until the payments companies make it easier, a whole lot easier, I’m going to stick with cash and my credit / debit card. Which leads me to the last point…

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10. I’ll stick with Cash….

…and my credit / debit card. They’re fast, easy to use, immediate, universally accepted, real time and enable me to keep track of what I’m spending.

Cashless Payments

Yet despite all of the above flaws the truth is that i don’t hate cashless payments, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all…






One comment on “10 Things I Hate About Cashless Payments

  1. Pingback: The Lowdown on the SEPA Cards Standardisation Volume

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