The Future of Mobile Payments and How It Will Transform Giving

The holiday season always triggers a watershed of annual giving and with rapid innovation in the mobile payments space, that trend is set to continue and swell. For instance, this week Snapchat announced a partnership with payment processor Square to launch payments inside the Snapchat app. The feature, called Snapcash, allows users to send money to friends on the network by simply typing the amount and hitting send.

Such frictionless payments systems have been around for a while, most notably through Square that allows users to send money over email and Venmo that allow users to send payments with simply a mobile number.

What is new, however, is the power of such a partnership to overcome inconvenient barriers to user adoption. That’s because instead of using a third-party app, payments will be incorporated into existing first-party social networks seamlessly. That means users never need to register for a new app or account but instead can send payments instantly to anyone who’s already on the network.

This begs the question of just how powerful a role Facebook could play when it finally launches payments in its Messenger App, or when Apple enables peer-to-peer payments between iPhone owners.

No matter who eventually dominates the mobile payment space, its impact on charitable giving will be undeniable. One need only look at ‘Penny for London’ to grasp the power of frictionless giving. This scheme is a world first and a radical departure in how we donate to charity because it provides a new, easy way for everyone to make small charity donations through frictionless payments. To see how simple the process is watch this video.

The opportunity for brands to leverage frictionless payments in their cause marketing campaigns is enormous. By simply identifying a cause that’s in alignment with their core values, they can provide consumers with myriad opportunities to make frictionless donations. If they then provide the critical feedback loop that shows the actual impact that these donations are having, they can strengthen the loyalty of their customer base and bring their brand purpose to life year after year in ways that build their business and social impact. Something certainly worth celebrating this holiday season.