“Payments and Mobile Payments: Pay on the Go” at Silicon Beach Fest

YapStone’s Chairman & CEO, Co-Founder Tom Villante, joined a panel of payment industry experts at Silicon Beach Fest to share insights and discuss how companies are using payments systems to make it increasingly easy for consumers and businesses to pay for goods and services. He also addressed adoption challenges facing the mobile payment industry in a panel entitled “Payments and Mobile Payments: Pay on the Go”. 


  • Vince Hruska, City National Bank, Marketing and Product Strategies (Moderator)
  • Joaquin Ayuso, Kuapay, CEO
  • Jack Bicer, SekurMe, CEO
  • Tom Villante, Yapstone, Founder
  • Jake Denny, Mobile Majority (formerly PaeDae), VP Ad Sales
  • Melissa Adele Rosen, Locali Conscious Convenience, Founder
  • Heather Inocencio, CARD.com, SVP of Product


Mobile Payments in the US

In discussing the current state of mobile payments, the panelists agreed that electronic payments are in their infancy and that the US is behind other markets like Europe in the area of mobile payments. They expressed amazement that America does not pay rent electronically for the most part, although the trend has picked up in the last 2 to 3 years driven by Millennials. They also shed light on the notion that one of the biggest issues in the adoption of mobile payments comes from merchants’ reluctance to adopt. This is based not only on the Point of Sale (POS) systems, but also brands, and how they manage their inventories.

Chip and Pin Technology

 Panelists pointed out that the US has yet to integrate chip and pin technology. Retailers are resisting because it takes longer to pay than just swiping a credit card, and the fear is that customers will go somewhere else. They also brought up the point that when Europe adapted chip and pin technology, fraud moved from retail to online.

Barriers to Mobile Payment Adaption

The panelists discussed the challenges of mobile payment adoption, and that the experience must be easier than it is now, as well as secure. The point was made that in a retail store, swiping and paying with a credit card or taking out a mobile phone to pay creates about the same amount of hassle for the consumer. Tom pointed out that “the beauty of mobile payments is when you don’t know it’s there”. Quoting Uber as an example, he said that “the company that offers a seamless way to move money around and solve security would win”.

Cash is Still King

Panelists brought up that 40% of all transactions are cash. The question was raised about what it would take to get consumers over using cash?  Tom’s opinion was it would be driven by Peer-to-Peer (P2P).

Coupons and Discounts

The panelists talked about it being crucial to be able to offer coupons, discounts and reward points. The general opinion expressed by the panel was that payment companies need to offer the tools for merchants to incorporate these tactics into their business models. While the merchant is the one paying for the discounts, POS systems need to have the tools for implementation.

Thank you to all the attendees for joining us at Silicon Beach Fest.