Just a few years ago, going out for a day of shopping with just your phone was unthinkable.
These days, the emergence of QR payments and mobile wallets have made paying for your bus/MRT ride or shopping with your phone not just a possibility, but something that could earn you cashback or loyalty points!
The thing is, while many of us know very well how to utilise cashless payment, not many know about the ones powering these transactions in the background.
One of the key ‘behind-the-scenes’ companies is Wirecard – a global innovation leader in digital financial technology – who powers everything from your shopping to transport and the way you pay for food.
Wirecard Of The Present
Founded in Munich, Germany in 1999, Wirecard acts more like an enabler than a consumer-facing entity – perhaps explaining why they might not be as familiar a name to the regular consumer.
For example, Wirecard offers its customers services like the integration of payment methods, payment transactions via e-commerce, mobile as well as those at point-of-sale (POS) checkouts.
As of December 2018, Wirecard is powering the payment needs of almost 280,000 companies.
This includes global players, small and medium-sized enterprises and startups in the travel & mobility, retail, e-commerce, banking, and telecommunications sectors.
You may not know it, but they are the payments solutions provider behind many of brands Singaporeans know and love, allowing you to simply pay with your credit card or mobile phone.
The next time you pay for something, take a look at the receipt and you might just find ‘Wirecard’ printed proudly on it!
For one, popular bubble tea chain Gong Cha has been using Wirecard’s payment technology at their in-store POS (including cashless kiosks). With these cashless kiosks, both customers and retailers benefit from a reduction in queuing times, faster check out, and freeing up staff to take on further customer service roles.
Back in April this year, Wirecard announced its collaboration with Elush Retail Group, Singapore’s largest Apple Premium Reseller, in which the former will provide digital payment services to the group for both their 18 physical stores and online shop.
Beyond digital payment services, Wirecard is also ensuring a secure checkout experience for Elush’s e-commerce customers, and value-added services like installment plans for large purchases and currency conversion for customers from abroad at the group’s physical outlets.
In July 2019, Wirecard also announced the launch of the installment payment plan (IPP) service on ecommerce platform Shopee. This will allow shoppers who hold a credit card from any of the three local banks to pay for purchases in fixed monthly payments over periods of 6 or 12 months.
These examples show all the unseen ways that Wirecard has been working on in the background while we unknowingly benefit from their various technologies.
But the company is not stopping there.
Wirecard Of The Future
Innovation is an integral part of Wirecard’s DNA.
This is a statement that Wirecard doesn’t take lightly.
To be at the forefront of payment technology, Wirecard established Wirecard Labs, their innovation arm and test lab for new ways of paying.
At the Wirecard Asia Pacific Innovation Day in Singapore, the company showcased some of its latest technologies that will redefine the next wave of payments innovation.
One of the technologies showcased was a blockchain-based payment solution that focuses on linking merchants directly with producers, capturing all business processes in “smart contracts” – digital contracts based on blockchain – while minimising the risk of fraud.
In this way, all steps along the commercial chain, from drawing up contracts, to quality assurance and guarantee of origin, are mapped transparently in a decentralised database.
Wirecard also sees a future in using biometrics as “the next big payment trend after smartphones”.
In fact, they have developed a smart payment terminal which allows consumers to pay by scanning not their card or a QR code, but their palm!
We’ve all seen self-service kiosks at places like McDonald’s, but Wirecard thinks that the future of shopping could potentially be fully unmanned.
In line with that vision, they debuted a Grab & Go Store, their prototype of an unmanned store that offers shoppers a seamless purchasing experience through the use of a combination of computer vision, deep learning, and logic.
Shoppers enter the store via their smartphone, pick products which are scanned automatically, and payment is triggered when they leave the premises.
The result is both convenience for the shopper and a chance for staff to carry out more valuable customer service roles.
Wirecard also recently debuted their prototype of a Smart Mirror, one of the world’s first intelligent mirror.
While it won’t tell you who’s the fairest in the land, Wirecard’s Smart Mirror does something even better – it lets shoppers try out, then pay for clothing without the need to stand in long queues for the fitting room or cashier!
Shoppers will be able to browse alternative sizes, different colors, matching products via the mirror, and pay via a QR code once they make their selection.
Merchants will also have the opportunity to tailor the feature set to meet their needs, and even integrate surveys, targeted discounts, as well as options to share on social media.
The future of payment is digital, and Wirecard is undoubtedly shaping the path there.
- Keep up to date with Wirecard’s new payment innovations here.