Culture takes a while to change. Now financial institutions seem to be grasping the fact that money is not an end in itself, it is part of the process of life. American Express has opened a store in New York to showcase its ‘Serve’ product – launched as part of its acquisition of Florida based Revolution Money. Meanwhile Barclaycard has launched a new card called ‘Ring’ which purports to be a community card based on the principles of social media, where like minded shoppers – and therefore hopefully users of the Ring card – can recommend places and things to buy, presumably a sort of on-line co-operative.
The revelation that money is not just about transactions seems to be catching on. Recently PayPal opened its own showcase, and changed its focus to a company that was re-defining the future of money. This means that they realize that shopping is not just a transaction but the whole experience.
All of this is fascinating and possibly provokes a moment of ‘duh, it all seems so obvious now I think about it’ but here is an interesting twist for NFC followers. BillingViews is an acknowledged sceptic when it comes to NFC’s ‘marriage’ to payments. We have always said that NFC is bigger than mobile payments (and mobile payments are bigger than NFC).
Maybe this shift from giants such as Amex, Barclaycard and PayPal signals a real and fundamental shift in how financial institutions think about money and customers. It also, hopefully, heralds an understanding that a technology such as NFC is so much more to the world of money and commerce than a transaction chip – it is, possibly, one of the fundamental, intelligent and ‘intuitive’ connectors in the virtual world.