From black cabs to the US election and bitcoin, there have been quite a few significant developments over the past month in the domain of electronic payments.
Firstly, and most probably least significantly, every black cab in London now takes card payment- and they have scrapped the surcharge, instead adding 20p to the base fare. Hardly something that will put people off. Is it too little too late, in light of Uber’s s torming success? I wouldn’t like to say.
At more or less the same time there was the world’s highest ever (probably) Apple Pay transaction in the form of the remote purchase of a vintage car at British auctioneer Coys.
The first ever purchase of a classic car via social media using mobile app Vero for the sale of a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 for £825,000 ($1.01m) was completed by a buyer who made the payment using Apple Pay.
Mobile payments are on the increase and will likely follow an upward trajectory for quite some time longer.
Recent research by Timetric suggests that mobile NFC payments will overtake contactless card transactions both in volume and value, although the latter won’t take much to beat, given the low value maximum limit on contactless card payments. See page 10 for a more comprehensive rundown on the contactless payments landscape, based on this research.
And further west, the US election result has come up trumps for bitcoin. Shortly after midnight Eastern Time, during electoral proceedings, the cryptocurrency climbed to $732, almost $120 more than the same time a month prior.
Speculation started the night before the election. If Clinton were to win, this was not expected to have much effect on the value of bitcoin. A Trump win, however, would be a different story.
And true enough, as Trump garnered more and more votes, so the value of bitcoin rose in tandem, rising 3.4% in the two hours after midnight on 9 November.
A similar spike occurred during Brexit, when bitcoin spiked 7%, resulting in a $100 increase in the price of bitcoin during one trading session. All this amid the pound taking a serious bashing.
In an interview for CoinDesk, a hedge fund manager dealing in bitcoin said a Trump presidency, despite being an “epic disaster” in most respects, would be “great for bitcoin”, adding, “in the fear and chaos bitcoin would be a defensive asset people could turn to”.
He wasn’t the only one. As a result of Brexit, many analysts had predicted a boost for bitcoin in the event of success for Donald Trump.
Other analysts suggested that even if there was a spike, it would be shortlived. Either way, any positive fluctuation would indicate that bitcoin is a go to measure for many to safeguard against economic uncertainty.