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Try to pay for something at your local store of choice and you might notice a few changes up at the register. Namely those kiosks where you’re used to paying with a swipe credit card.
There’s a good chance some of those stations are ready to accept the new chip and PIN tech.
But there’s also a chance that there’s a logo from Apple, Google and other tech giants letting you know you can pay up with an app on your phone. And now, add Chase Bank to the mobile payments game.
Molly Wood, senior Marketplace tech correspondent, spoke with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal about what the biggest bank in the U.S. has planned for the checkout line.
On how Chase is different:
They are not the first ones, but arguably they are the biggest. Chase is huge. One of every two households, according to Chase, is a Chase customer. [It is] the No. 1 processor in terms of payments overall. So what they are going to do differently, I think, is double down on reach. Chase is partnering up with Wal-Mart and some other big retailers. Now, that said, even though they have the size and the power, they’re going all-in on confusing. The digital wallet that they’re building sounds a little bit funky. There will be a Chase app. You could use that to pay by showing a code to a cashier that they can scan — but not in every store. Some stores will require you to use a different app that is being built by this consortium of retailers. So it’s a little messy right now.
On why companies are climbing into mobile payments when so few people uses it:
In fact, I think it’s only about 4 percent of consumers. It’s something like 13 percent have ever actually tried it. It’s very tiny. But it has the potential to be hugely profitable for whatever company wins…. There’s a potential for this to become a multibillion dollar business, even in the next couple years.
On ease of use:
Two months ago, maybe even three weeks ago, I would have said it is way easier to take out your credit card and swipe it. But now we have these chip and PIN cards coming and there’s a huge shift in how consumers are going to start to pay for stuff. Chip and PIN is actually a little more annoying. You have to stick the card in and leave it there for the whole minute. And that’s a little harder than using one of these apps…. So if these companies — if Apple or Chase or Samsung — if they can get to these customers right now, while they’re starting to change their behavior anyway, there’s an opportunity.
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