Have mobile payments killed the humble bank card?

As the mobile payment landscape expands in 2016, we look into the question at the heart of the discussion - time to ditch your card and pay with your phone? Maybe not quite yet. Here's why:

Paying with mobile - a snapshot

Apple Pay launched in the UK last year, allowing users widespread access to mobile payments. Apple Pay aims to consolidate payments solutions in one place, allowing users to add all their cards to an app and pay directly with their phone at NFC terminals. While Apple Pay's approach requires users to leave all their cards at home - in favour of using their mobile to make purchases - Curve instead consolidates users' cards into a single physical bank card. Like Curve, Apple’s approach aims to bring together a number of critical convergence points for users: unifying all your payment cards in one place, paying in more locations, being notified of your spend in real time, and much more. With all this in mind, there is a lot to expect from mobile payments in the future - for now, that future isn’t here just yet. Let's take a look at why this future is still around the corner, and what we're doing at Curve to bring the best of mobile payments to you right now.

Mobile payments vs the humble bank card

Mobile-only payment solutions are in their infancy, and studies show no sign of the humble bank card slowing in its acceptance. Around 40% of users are happy to continue using their pre-mobile payment methods, and, in 2014 alone, over 1.5 billion “smart” payment cards - cards allowing users to access NFC and Chip payments - were rolled out across the US alone. On the other end of it, as many as 83% of eligible Apple Pay users were yet to use the mobile payments service at the close of 2015. At Curve, we see a bright future for the bank card.

Currently, you’ll only be able to make use of mobile payment solutions such as Apple Pay if you’re paying at a terminal that supports NFC payments (contactless) - and there’s a maximum spend of £30 per transaction. Paying at a merchant without an NFC terminal? You’ll have to bring your bank cards with you. Taken your Curve card out with you? You’ll have access to payments anywhere MasterCard is accepted - that’s 35 million places worldwide. With access to Chip-and-pin, and Magstripe payments, as well as the NFC functionality you’d find on your mobile, you’ll always have the freedom to pay where and how you want. No batteries required.

Looking for an overview of your spend? By spending through a single card with an accompanying app, Curve aims to provide a holistic, clear view of your spending one place, giving you insight to all your transactions in one. You won’t just see your latest transaction - you’ll be given the full rundown of where you paid, when, and how much (even in which currency!). You know your spend better than anyone, so with Curve you’re given the freedom to tag your transactions, file your receipts, and send the data to your computer with a few clicks in the app. And, because Curve is accepted everywhere, you won’t miss out on logging transactions - from travelling on the Tube, to that morning coffee, you’re in control.

Where next for paying by card?

Mobile payment solutions bring a whole host of benefits to the user, though at present the bank card leads the way in acceptance and reliability. At Curve, we’re working to bring together the best of both worlds - the benefits of mobile payments, with extra features to save you time and headspace - in a bank card like you’ve never seen before. We’re looking to provide users with the gateway to everything money, a gateway for users to address the payment problems they face on a day-to-day basis. We’re starting by giving users the freedom to pay how, where, and when they want. We’re excited about what comes next.


Order your Curve now at our website - Want to find out more? You can see Curve in action here. Using Curve and would like to leave some feedback? We'd love to hear fro you - get in touch with us via Facebook or follow us on Twitter!

Alan McAlpine

Product Marketing Manager at Curve.

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