I’m just back from a fascinating ten day visit to India – and, frankly, I’m still in a bit of a daze from that amazing experience. More to come about my visit there.
In the funding announcement, eWise coins the term OBeP – Online Banking ePayments – for the services it provides that “enable consumers to make private and secure payments for goods and services online” by directing consumers to their own online bank accounts to complete payment.
Here in the US, eWise has been powering NACHA’s Secure Vault Payments initiative and says it will use this new funding to expand that effort as well as launch an OBeP network in the UK.
eWise says its OBeP payments offer benefits for all of the stakeholders:
- For consumers, it is fast and secure
- For merchants, it offers lower costs and improved sales conversion
- For banks, it recaptures or creates revenue opportunities for direct payment relationships with customers and aids migration of payments from cash and check to electronic payments
Of course, competing alternatives exist here in the US – debit cards already linked to consumer bank accounts, PayPal, and various eCheck initiatives. Merchants, wanting to minimize payments acceptance costs while maximizing sales, may find justification to implement support for OBeP. For them to do so, there needs to be enough of a critical mass of banks – and, therefore, participating consumers – to make it worthwhile. Consumers need to be educated about this new way to pay – by their bank – and perhaps given an incentive to do so. And bankers need to see how they can make money by offering an OBeP payment alternative.
This is going to be a most interesting market to watch develop. What do you think about OBeP? Share your thoughts as a comment below!