The credit card’s replacement – a watch or microchip implant?

Published December 20, 2017

Sweden is one of the world’s most digitised societies when it comes to payments. The Swedish Trade Federation counts on 90 percent of all transactions being digital within three years. When new payment solutions and mobile applications such as Samsung Pay and Apple Pay are introduced to the Swedish market, and innovative fintech companies launch payment solutions in jewellery and microchip implants at CES 2017 – it becomes clear that not only is cash on the way out, but also that card payments can be replaced by new payment solutions.

Caroline Marken is Chief Digital Officer at Entercard. She says that the Scandinavian market for new payment solutions has exploded, an indication that the industry is ready for change. Although, it is still unclear which of all of the hundreds of solutions that will be victorious. The consumer values comfortability and smoothly function services. Reasons that new payment services need to be simple in order to be able to compete with credit cards. Two additional factors of importance is security and the reduction of administrative work.

-This is where people from the payment industry need to think – how does my solution make things easier for the customer? Perhaps it is through accounting, better protection against hacking or tailored insurance offers? Regardless of which, the new solutions need to contribute to transactions becoming simpler and safer for the consumer, says Caroline.

The mobile phone can both meet security requirements and simplify both payments and administration. That is why both large technology giants such as Samsung and Apple, and smaller innovative fintech companies are investing in mobile based solutions.

-It would be interesting to see a number of smaller companies challenge Apple and Samsung, but since the banks are the primary customer, a stable partnership is a requirement, making it difficult for smaller businesses to compete. Although Swedish companies that already have connections to banks, such as Swish, Seqr or Klarna, could become potential challengers, Caroline continues.

-There are many alternatives regarding who or what that will replace card payments. That’s why it is important for us at Entercard to stay ahead of things, and be where the solutions are. We cannot limit ourselves to solely offering credit card payments anymore, instead we need to be able to offer our services to the payment solutions of the consumers’ choice – regardless of the type of platform it entails. If we aren’t open for change or welcome new ideas, the same innovative tech companies that we currently view as our partners run the risk of becoming our main competitors. Our focus will always remain on offering our customers freedom and security, and if the consumer changes platform or arena, so do we, Caroline concludes.