5 Payment Mechanisms Set to Go Mainstream in the Next 2 Years
2. QR codes: Quick Response codes or QR codes have had their 15 minutes of fame, with marketers using them as handy contest tools, mobile app download systems or even coupon delivery mechanisms. However, these straightforward uses of QR codes touch but a fraction of the real potential that these humble codes hold.
QR codes are complex enough to stand in for an entire POS system. At the same time, they're simple enough to allow users to make payments by simply scanning a QR code with a specially designed app, such as SnapScan. Here's how it works: Each vendor receives a unique QR code from SnapScan. To make a payment, the customer has to already have SnapScan installed on their smartphone and linked the app to their bank account. By scanning the retailer's unique QR code with their phone, the user can swiftly transfer funds from their account to the retailer's account. There's no need for expensive POS systems on the retailer's end. Similarly, the user is saved the trouble of typing in all their payment details online or swiping their credit card on a POS machine that may or may not be 100 percent secure.
3. Bitcoins: The first brush with worldwide fame (or notoriety, depending on the way you look at it) that Bitcoin had was with the emergence of the erstwhile Silk Road as a grey market for contraband items. Bitcoins were a relatively new, fully digital and totally untraceable currency cum payment mechanism that granted the patrons of sites like Silk Road the anonymity they desperately sought.
Mining bitcoins was a complicated and laborious process. Not many vendors accepted payments via Bitcoin and getting a fair rate for bitcoins online depended largely on your luck and negotiation skills. In short, bitcoins had become the leading stealth payment option among tech nerds and online delinquents alike.
Rohan Ayyar is the regional marketing manager for India at SEMrush. His blog, The Marketing Mashup, covers digital marketing from the perspective of B2B, B2C, lead generation, mobile marketing, SEO, social media, content marketing, database marketing including predictive analytics, and conversion rate optimization. In addition, he'll look at emerging marketing technology and how marketers can use it. Reach Ayyar at email@example.com.