By Clive Howard, Principal Analyst, Creative Intellect Consulting
Payments made easier and more secure with a good mobile wallet
Once again the most likely solution to this issue is mobile wallets. By using a mobile wallet the customer does not have to enter any payment information. This greatly reduces the work that they have to do to make a payment. The customer is simply passed into the mobile wallet which already has their payment information, they complete the transaction and are then handed back to the website or app. A further benefit to this approach is that the actual payment element of the process has been both optimised by a third party payments specialist and tested by them as well. This removes two major burdens from the development team. Mobile wallets are therefore the answer to the two top reasons why consumers are reluctant to make payments on a mobile device. If this mobile wallet is provided by a bank or credit card provider then people are more likely to try it. This should be good news for any organisation looking to increase revenue from mobile consumers. Especially when one considers that eMarketer has found that there is a desire to buy via mobile, particularly in the younger age groups. 48% of 18-34 year olds said that they would like to pay this way.
Mobile payments present new opportunities
Within the many different markets with an interest in mobile commerce one of particular note would be travel and transportation. This market has been working with different ways to incorporate mobile into a customer’s experience across the end to end lifespan of a journey. An example is the number of airlines that now offer mobile boarding passes. A further example would be the use of the mobile device as a ticket using NFC such as on buses. With many journeys having multiple stages that may involve different modes of transport from a variety of providers a single form of fast payment is obviously interesting. Imagine taking a journey and being able to both use the mobile device for payment and as a ticket to travel throughout. This is not just in the context of transport itself (trains, buses, aeroplanes and so on) but other stages of the journey like paying for car parking, hotel accommodation or purchasing refreshments. There are a number of challenges to this vision of the future. Many of them are physical and cost based such as the price of installing NFC enabled equipment into the transport network. However it will still require customers to want to use their mobile and that means addressing the concerns of security and user experience that have already been discussed. What this brief look at a particular industry does however, is to highlight the new possibilities that mobile presents in the field of payments. For many organisations it may simply be that they want to take a traditional sales process and mobile enable it, such as purchasing an item of clothing from a retailer’s website. For others though it might present all new customer experiences and revenue opportunities.
Developers: be armed with the right approach
What we see in the m-commerce market is a history of solid growth and desire amongst consumers to buy via mobile. But we also see challenges ahead in the form of security concerns and the poor experience that many customers are currently receiving. Mobile wallets address these concerns and customers are prepared to try them as long as they are provided by organisations that they trust such as banks and credit card companies. Development teams working on mobile projects, whether websites or apps, should begin looking into how they can integrate with mobile wallets. Coupled with the importance of having in place a good mobile wallet strategy, is the support of a robust testing strategy. This will mean looking for accessible tools and services that can address any performance challenges that might present themselves as a result of network traffic. The latter will be one for future blog discussions. Crucially, the potential for m-commerce goes beyond the type of retail experiences that many of us are used to but it is one that opens up a future of new possibilities as well. So, while there may be trouble ahead for Mobile commerce in the future, there are strategies and tools in play today to enable you to buck the trend going forward.