pogonici - Fotolia

Should CFOs care about the rise in mobile payment systems?

The mobile payment market is experiencing tremendous growth. Get ready to think about cyberthreats, changing operations and opportunity.

Mobile payment systems are one of the many technology shifts disrupting companies all over the world. Thanks to innovative technologies, changing consumer expectations and tech giants' interest, the mobile payments market has accelerated in the last few years.

The pervasive use of smartphones and other mobile technologies is a major reason for this shift. It has opened up yet another avenue for processing and brokering consumer payments for goods and services. Indeed, analysts are predicting that by 2019 U.S. consumers and companies alone will be using mobile technologies to pay for goods and services to the tune of $142 billion annually. Another factor: The lure of new revenue streams has attracted to the payments game new players, with Apple Pay and Google's Android Pay leading the way. The involvement of these globally dominant tech giants has the potential to directly influence consumer behaviour -- which in turn shapes markets and how companies operate.

In other words, although mobile payment systems haven't disrupted your company yet, they likely will, and with them your job. Like any proactive leader, it's important to start addressing the issue beforehand. To that end, here are a few questions to start considering:

  • How will you prepare for an increasingly fragmented payments processing market? Your payment strategy will need to include agreements and commitments across a constantly changing and diverse range of stakeholders. No longer will you have "one throat to choke" when it comes to effective governance over payments services.
  • Mobile payments open up a new vector for cyberattacks. Cybercrime has consistently ranked as a key concern for CFOs in recent years. How will mobile wallets add to these concerns? What role will your department play in managing this threat?
  • If Google or Apple shape the payment habits of consumers, will you really have any choice over these new channels? Rather than ignore this shift or think you can stop it, how can you start preparing now to manage the shift to mobile payments?

As with many other technological shifts, the eventual outcomes are unpredictable. Still, CFOs that are aware of the likely impacts of technology disruption on their organizations will be best equipped to capitalize on the opportunities that mobile payment technologies present, while understanding and mitigating the risks. 

The time for CFOs to understand mobile payments and digital wallets is now.

Next Steps

Gain a competitive edge through financial data, more

Think best practices before automating budgets

What it takes to better automate financial reporting

Dig Deeper on ERP accounting software