The Evolution of Mobile Payments: Understanding its Past, Present, and Future

by Neha Srivastava Working In IT Solution

Evolution in payment methods has come a long way from the early barter system to modern mobile methods. Our payment methods have moved from the early exchange methods like the barter system (gold, silver, etc.) to the modern-day paper and digital currency. As we live in today’s world we have access to everything on our Smartphone. From Credit cards and debit cards to online payment wallets and apps, we have everything at our fingertips.

The future has a lot of improved and secure payment methods which is truly amazing if we look back in the past when there were methods like gold, silver exchange using barter method.

Let’s relive how payment methods kept changing for the better over time.

  • Initially, there was a barter system which meant the exchange of goods and services. But as it was inefficient and inaccurate mode we humans looked for better replacements.

  • Soon we found its replacement in shells, gold, and silver form which took no time to turn into a coin.

  • It no not long before coins and paper currency started to become the most prominent and convenient payment method.

  • In 1920-1950 credit cards continued to evolve and by 1980s debit cards slowed the dependence on checkbooks and cash.

With internet and E-commerce, the use of electronic ways like digital wallets and other payment apps, the payment methods have largely changed to mobile payment methods.

Let’s have a look at the history of mobile payment methods and what their future holds for us.

Initial Mobile Payment Methods

In the year 1997, Coca-Cola introduced its vending machines with an SMS payment facility. Oil Company Mobil used RFID technology where users can pay for fuel by simply putting their device near sensors on the pump.

With PayPal getting founded in 1998, making payments become easier and by 1999 users were able to buy movie tickets through their mobile devices. It just took 2 more years as users could order Dominos Pizza through their cell phones.

Things changed for the better when Vodafone introduced one of the largest payment systems based on USSD/SMS technology offering various kinds of macro and micropayments. But it was largely the introduction of giants like Google and Apple that made things available with users on a large scale. 

Google in 2011 came with mobile wallet solutions based on NFC technology which could make payments, redeem coupons and earn points as well. Apple soon followed its footsteps launching Apple Pay on the newly launched iPhone 6 devices. By 2015 Samsung pay and Android Pay made online payments more convenient and easily available on a vast number of users.

Present Day Mobile Payment Methods

Our payment methods have improved a lot over the past decades which we have already looked back. Let’s now have a look at how the modern-day payment methods work.

1. Omnichannel Commerce Payment Methods

With the large availability of Smartphone, in-app purchases and one-click payment methods have become the first choice of users to pay online. Whether it is shopping on E-commerce websites or paying bills or booking movie tickets or purchasing TV subscriptions, users enjoy doing it with their mobile phones.

By implementing this Omnichannel payment strategy many businesses and startups have flourished in the last few years. Moreover, it increases the revenue, improves convenience and reduces the time for carrying out payment activity.

2. Contactless Payment Methods

The present-day contactless payments do not require any direct contact between the device and the reader. Rather it lets users wave or tap their card on the reader to make payments. This is considered a pretty faster method of making direct payments while comparing it to swiping or inserting cards. Moreover, it does not show any sensitive information making it a reliable and secure payment method. Companies like Google, Apple have their own Google Pay and Apple pay making payments very easy and simple.

3. Smart Speakers Making Payments 

Whoever thought of making payments with a speaker but over the last few years Amazon, Google, and Apple released their smart speakers. Smart speakers receive voice commands from users for booking Uber, giving information about nearby restaurants and the latest weather updates.

Companies like Dominos have allowed its users to pay via Amazon Echo making an indication where we are heading towards when it comes to making payments via smart speakers. As per Business Insider, there will be around 80 million users by 2022 using this method for payments making it a must to be considered a method for companies to incorporate in.

Understanding the Future of Mobile Payment

1. Secure Payments using AI/ML 

With advance payment methods getting employed, security is a major concern as well. To deal with online frauds, banks and financial institutions make use of Machine learning methods letting users know of suspicious activity. The ML software that banks use understands the transaction patterns and alerts the users of that. 

This is why the advanced mobile payment solutions developed by some of the leading Mobile App Development Companies in USA are built as per the latest AI and ML methods giving criminals a tough time to breach the security.

2. Biometric Authentication Method

Biometric authentication has the possibility of becoming another payment authentication method in the future. It can be used to judge the physical specifications of a person like fingerprints, retina, iris, voice, face, thermograms, or a combination of some of these features. It has been a proven method to ensure security in financial institutions and soon can be used by companies by incorporating a mix of these in the next advance payment solution.

Tip: Incorporating Blockchain and Chatbots can be crucial in developing smart mobile payment solutions as well.


The payment methods have evolved over the last decades to a great extent. From the barter system to paying through mobile phones and smart speakers, we have seen a lot of changes in the payment methods. Surely there are various methods to make payments in the current day and age but there are surely some security loopholes. We believe incorporating secure methods like AI/ML, Biometric recognition and Blockchain can be good solutions for the future of mobile payment.

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About Neha Srivastava Freshman   Working In IT Solution

3 connections, 0 recommendations, 20 honor points.
Joined APSense since, September 24th, 2019, From Noida, India.

Created on Jan 9th 2020 04:58. Viewed 420 times.


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