ANNOUNCEMENT: CARTES unveils results of payment technologies in retail study

The 28th CARTES Secure Connexions Event will take place from 19 to 21 November 2013 at Paris Nord Villepinte.

CARTES Secure Connexions Event 2013 unveils the results of its study on payment technologies in retail and the conclusions of a round table on new payment methods


The 28th CARTES Secure Connexions Event will take place from 19 to 21 November 2013 at Paris Nord Villepinte and the main theme this year will be “Building Trust in Mobile Life.” At the launch of this year’s event Isabelle Alfano, the Director of the show, wanted to highlight developments in the retail sector.


On 4 June the CARTES Secure Connexions Event: unveiled the results of a study on the supply and demand of payment technologies in retail conducted by CARTES Secure Connexions Event and Payments Cards & Mobile;  organised a round table on the digital wallet as a future means of combining customised services, with:


o Isabelle Alfano, Director of the CARTES Secure Connexions Event

o Guillaume Rio, Techno Trends Manager, l’Echangeur by LaSer

o Vincent Berge, CEO & Founder, Think&Go NFC

o Benoit Liagre, CEO, flash’N pay; Director of Innovation and Organisation, Banque Accord


Results of the study on payment technology supply and demand in retail: similarities and differences between the various solution suppliers and companies


According to Isabelle Alfano, Director of the Cartes Secure Connexions Event: “The very significant increase in the number of smart phone and tablet users has resulted in a major change in consumer purchasing behaviour and has led to mobile payments taking off today. Yet, although the major players in retail are aware that they have to meet the challenge of mobile payments to secure the loyalty of existing customers and attract new ones, they do not yet know in which technologies it is worth investing.”


Firstly, the study reveals a consensus on the payment technologies that are likely to dominate over the next three to five years: traditional and contactless cards.

However, consumers and retailers have differing priorities: the former are looking for a quicker purchase, the latter hoping to gather information on existing customers and attract new ones. 

  • In terms of security:  

    • Retailers see “traditional” cards as the most secure solution.
    • For consumers, the best solutions are contactless cards and NFC card payments.
    • However, QR codes and mobile magnetic strip points of sale are seen as the least secure option. Retailers are aware that consumers do not trust this technology to be secure.


  • In terms of added value:
    • According to the suppliers and retailers interviewed, consumers want secure payments, discount vouchers and quicker transactions
    • For retailers, loyalty cards, discount vouchers and data on consumer preferences are the services which add the most value.
    • Contactless cards, traditional cards and NFC mobile cards and wallets are the best technologies for developing these services.

Finally, the use of on-line payment services at the point of sale supplied by entities other than banks is an issue that divides retailers and banking institutions/card system operators. Banks/card system operators do not want to open the way to potential competitors in the payment methods sector. As such, the Banque Accord has already developed its own NFC application, Flash’n pay, allowing the consumer to scan their articles in store, to access discounts in real time and pay with their own mobile terminal.

In conclusion, traditional cards and contactless cards are deemed to be the best for consumers, and retailers do not feel the need to invest in other technologies. However, the new services associated with these new payment methods (paperless billing and loyalty cards, discount vouchers, product information, scanning and paying for articles using the consumer’s personal mobile, location services etc.) are appreciated and are a plus that consumers expect from the merchants. If these new services make it possible to boost sales and attract new customers, retailers are willing to invest.

“Many questions about the new payment methods remain to be answered but this also means there are also opportunities to be seized, concludes Isabelle Alfano.


Round Table Conclusions

“As the study has shown us, payment methods are changing and will ultimately combine new services,” explains Guillaume RIO, Techno Trends Manager, l’Echangeur by LaSer.

The main developments relate to:

  • NFC Shopping

The advantage of this solution is that it speeds things up as there is no need for the consumer to scan the article. They just place their device on the product label. In a single step they get a range of information (product, discounts, prices offered by the competition etc.) and can also pay using a traditional or contactless card.

Thus the NFC Shopping application used in the Casino supermarket in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, provided by Think&Go NFC, is what consumers are looking for. It saves them time and offers them a customised experience by making a range of information available in real time.


  • The Digital Wallet

“Combining a wide range of functionalities (loyalty cards, coupons, location services, payment, shopping lists, price comparison, etc.), the purpose of the Digital Wallet is to make life easier for the consumer. And we can foresee it becoming widely available in the next few years,” says Guillaume Rio.

The biggest players in this market (Google, PayPal etc.) until now have remained outside the retail and payment sectors. The Digital Wallet allows those who are developing it to gain a better understanding of consumer habits. Yet, in the years to come, technology companies and suppliers do not want to have information about consumer habits dictated to them by a third party. This is why new players such as the consortium of American retailers, Merchant Customer Exchange (set up by Wall Mart), have decided to invest in this payment method. In France, the Flash’n Pay solution developed by Banque Accord brings together a dozen European retailers.

“Whatever the new payment method offered to the consumer, it is important to bear in mind that the payment method is not an end in itself. It is indeed the relationship with customers and the purchasing experience that must remain at the heart of thinking by technology suppliers and companies,” concludes Benoit LIAGRE, CEO, flash’N pay and Director of Innovation and Organisation, Banque Accord.

Finally, although many solutions have been developed to date, in order to satisfy the customer it is essential to create an ecosystem and design a standard technology incorporating all cards and operators.

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