While they’re not ubiquitous yet, payment apps are starting to be discussed in places not normally known for attention to payment issues, such as Andrew Sullivan’s Dish. The thread is primarily commiseration around a specific retail pain point, but the curated discussion highlights perspectives from both an end-user and someone that works in a place that offers a payment alternative. Both perspectives easily demonstrate how the technology empowers the end-user and alleviates the pain in one fell swoop.
Early adopters are some of the best champions of new technologies across the internet, and discussion of the solutions in engaged communities that don’t serve a technology-centric audience demonstrates the increasing value those adopters are finding. Reframing the payment apps, LevelUp and TabbedOut, as “EZ-Pass” equivalents in the public space can’t hurt mindshare as well. Banks are in a unique position of being a ‘trusted source’ for payments, and they can learn a lesson from these third-party apps as they grow in popularity. Some of the specific pain points the apps are alleviating for the end-users are not pain points the bank might have initially imagined.