The latest firm to herald the death of the wallet is looking to emulate MasterCard’s meteoric rise to ubiquity.
ZNAP is a mobile business platform created by Hong Kong-based payment solution firm MPayMe that can provides consumers with a one stop app to manage all of their credit and debit cards, bank accounts, loyalty cards, vouchers and bills either online or in-store.
At the same time the platform offers merchants a single view of their customer across all channels, from e-commerce to the check-out till, as well as increased opportunity for communication and directed marketing.
The firm is not the first to make the bold claim that their product could make wallets obsolete, but speaking at the Apps World conference closing today, European CEO Hooman Mazaheri says other players in the market have missed the point.
“Payments on its own is not broken. Go to any merchant, they can take cash off you, card off you,” he said. “The market is confused at the moment; it doesn’t need pure mobile payments. What’s need out there are mobile payments with all the value adds that can be multichannel and global.”
Using a QR-code based system, ZNAP allows users to simply scan any item, whether in store, online or on a bill, and pay using any of the cards or accounts loaded on to their profile by entering their PIN. They can also load any loyalty card and e-vouchers onto the app, which will automatically tell them if they can get a discount or redeem points when they make a purchase.
For merchants, the system is cloud based so no extra infrastructure or hardware is required to get set up, and the apps ability to work seamlessly across all channels means they have a single view of their customer enabling them to target marketing.
Retailers can send specific vouchers to customers through the app based on their purchase history or demographics, or welcome messages and discounts when they enter a store.
“If look top job all these retailers are recruiting, you’ll see they’re all looking for this thing called a multi-channel director,” said Mazaheri.
“It’s because they want to have a single view of the consumer across all channels. That’s very important, because that’s the way you can create a loyal customer that’s the way you can serve them best and how you can increase the ticket price by knowing what they’re doing across the various channels.”
ZNAP is available on iPhone, Andorid, Windows, Blackberry and will shortly be available on Symbian and can be used anywhere in the world, which Mazaheri says no other provider can offer, and the firm is also confident of the platforms security with a number of home-grown technologies currently undergoing the patent process.
“We can quite confidently claim we are one of the most secure payment platforms out there. In fact we are more secure than chip and pin payments which is the safest one you can find at the moment” he said.
And with offices across the world, data centres on every continent and a growing number of commercial partners with millions of customers, Mazaheri says he believes the firm can replicate MasterCard’s rapid rise to prominence over the last 15 years.
“With any type of app like that you need to get mass adoption,” he said. “Once you’ve got big commercial partners with tens of millions of consumers it then expands very quickly.
“It is a huge barrier and a challenge for any new entrants into the market, but we’re well and truly past that stage now.”
“Once you get this critical mass of consumers and big merchants then everyone will just have to join it,” he added.
“We are not competing with VISA and MasterCard, because we actually take Visa and MasterCard. So what we are is an acceptance platform for those cards, so we haven’t got the barrier of creating new payment system.”