Mobile payment is on the march worldwide and will also bring lasting changes to the world of business. New digital payment solutions simplify and speed up existing processes, making them the next logical step in the development of corporate payments. The aim is to focus on the many opportunities they bring – without losing sight of the risks.
Nobody can pretend to know today how the world will look in 20 or 30 years time. But the latest developments at least allow us to propose forecasts for some areas that have a good change of becoming reality, e.g. in terms of payment – writes Patrick Diemer – CEO of Lufthansa AirPlus Servicekarten GmbH.
The global advance of smartphones has laid the technical groundwork for fast, simple payments using a mobile phone. It remains to be seen whether cash really will become obsolete, but at any event it will become much less important in comparison with digital payments. This will have an impact on the management of travel expenses, from which both travellers and companies will benefit.
The added value lies mainly in the time saving and the ease of use for business travellers. Increasingly they are now digital natives, especially the new generation of young managers. These customers not only want to shop online or use a mobile boarding pass, they also want mobile payment.
And companies profit too when their employees can make mobile payments: the more convenient, invisible and smarter payments become for travellers, the more efficient are the payment and settlement processes – and the more effective for managing the company’s business travel. The user experience for travellers will improve significantly, but so will the company’s auditing of their compliance with travel guidelines.
In the age of digitalisation, the new criteria for customers are speed, transparency, all-channel presence and convenience thanks to easy handling. Mobile payments have to satisfy these requirements and satisfy them better than existing systems. As an innovation leader in this field, AirPlus deliberately concentrates on corporate payment. We know the payment processes within companies, but also the compliance and security requirements of our customers. And they are reflected in our product development right from the start.
In a digital world, the security of data must have the utmost priority. This primarily entails the secure processing of data and protection against unauthorised access, e.g. by hackers. Big data, the internet of things and the digitalisation of manufacturing are upping the ante, because more networks call for sophisticated security concepts.
The key thing is to ensure that only authorised parties have the right to use the data. In future they will not only be people, but also machines and robots. We have to take these developments into account today and give the very highest priority to the quality of security standards. In the sensitive area of financial data these quality criteria are indispensable and a must for retaining the trust of customers and companies.