Nets: a Nordic suite of mobile services
Nets is in the process of bringing to market a suite of mobile services that will allow banks and merchants to interact with consumers in new ways without having to replace current processes and systems. As Jørn Degn Hansen and Kristian Thure Sørensen explain, this will ensure the widest possible reach as well as the flexibility requested by issuers and consumers alike.
With smartphones now fully integrated into everyday life, it is only natural that commerce has taken a firm hold on the use of these devices. As the smartphone gradually replaces things like watches, calculators, newspapers and game consoles, it is a reasonable expectation that it should also in time replace the leather wallet.
As payments are perhaps the defining function of a wallet, this is where we have already seen most services launched on mobile devices. Most of these have been built as superstructures on existing payment systems, where the phone-based service serves as an interface to another payment instrument. The next generation of mobile payments will reside on the phone or be tightly coupled with the phone. This development taps into the potential for integrating smartphones into the existing payment infrastructure.
Towards increased simplicity
It is important to note that what is really new about the mobile wallet is not, as the name suggests, its mobility, but the fact that it is connected. This allows online access to a series of other services and thus makes the smartphone a part of the financial services infrastructure. While the solutions are indeed complex from a technological point of view, this integration is actually a foundation for increased simplicity since it allows for easier access to, and management of, a consumer's valuables.
Nets' mobile wallet platform
At the centre of Nets' mobile solutions suite is the Mobile Wallet Platform. This allows any issuer to design and brand a mobile wallet that fits his or her needs.
At the same time, the flexibility of the platform allows any service provider to launch services across different issuers' wallets (at the discretion of the individual wallet issuer), thus giving the end user the same experience that they would have with a leather wallet, where cards from a wide range of providers happily coexist.
A variety of services
One of the initial services offered by the wallet will be card-based payments through mobile-issued payment cards that tap into the existing acceptance infrastructure. Furthermore, the wallet will support a wide array of content, from loyalty and membership services to other types of financial services. This solution brings the benefits of scale and interoperability as well as providing the option for true differentiation.
Clearing the way to future payments
A way of understanding the full potential of the wallet is to see it as not just a container of instruments and valuables but also a way for the issuer to provide access to a bank account, payment card or other bank-issued services as well as any other service relevant to the consumer, such as loyalty cards, points, coupons, digital identities and other public services.
Having these payment capabilities right at your fingertips, together with the apparent increase in digitised commerce, will definitely simplify payments in the future. And for merchants, the advantages of digital payments will become increasingly evident, as the potential of more intelligent added value is realised in the coming years.