Mobile Payments – Is it really the Future?

Uncategorized Posted Apr 17, 2012 by metropolis

After attending the Mobile Cluster seminar held by the Mass Technology Leadership Council in Cambridge, MA on Thursday, April 12, we can confidently say yes.

Leading the seminar/discussion was Teresa Epperson from Alix Partners. She provided the audience with some fascinating research findings, which suggested that the use of retail mobile apps is consistently increasing. One statistic that Theresa shared with us was that 30 to 50% of smartphone users aged 18 to 54 use in-store mobile shopping apps, which is having a significant impact on retail and pricing. As a result, many retailers are turning into show-rooms where consumers are allowed to view the products and compare pricing before making a purchasing decision. Epperson also suggested that mobile payments will encapsulate the entire retail experience including pre and post-purchase.

The panel that Teresa moderated included Dekkers Davidson from Barclaycard US, Chris Gardner from Paydiant and Damien Balsan from PayPal. Throughout the discussion, a lively debate occurred between the members of the panel and the audience. The panelist concluded together that there is tremendous opportunity and some compelling reasons why the mobile wallet is here to stay. Gardner started the discussion by stating that issues surrounding the mobile wallet are not related to technology but rather to business. He added that there needs to be an economic incentive for both the merchant and the consumer. The incentives for merchants include an increase in the number of transactions and in some instances access to hardware at little to no cost. Gardner stated that incentives for consumers include loyalty programs, coupons and other saving initiatives. Davidson agreed with Gartner and added that customers also need a connection to merchants. He suggested that one way for this connection to occur is through a community. An example of a community that Davidson provided was of PayPal. Davidson stated that PayPal was able to utilize the eBay community, which helped pave the way for their success. Lastly, Balsan, an advocate for NFC, believed that the shift to the mobile wallet is going to accelerate within the next couple of years due to improved connectivity and hardware. He also believed that in the near future, consumers will have the ability to customize preferences for their mobile payment apps, which will optimize their experiences.

According to Juniper Research, mobile phones are now in the hands of 70% of the world’s population or 5 billion subscribers. In the US alone, 9 in 10 people are using their phones to shop, watch videos, play games and socialize through Facebook and Twitter. Additionally, mobile payments are on the rise and are expected to triple over the next three years to a value of $670 billion – with digital goods accounting for 40 percent of that spend.

Understanding that mobile payments is the future, CHEN’s client, Vindicia, the leading provider of marketing and selling automation for the Digital Economy, is paying attention to the mobile payment trends by adding mobile carrier support to their product, CashBox through the integration and partnership with BOKU, Inc., the global leader in mobile payments. By using CashBox, Vindicia clients can now seamlessly and securely accept mobile payments from consumers in 67 countries and across more than 240 mobile network operations. The recent CashBox integration with BOKU, Inc. will help clients reach customers for whom paying with their mobile phone is both convenient and important.

With all of that being said, do you agree that mobile payments are really the future?

Posted by CHEN PR’s Courtney Archibald