5 Reasons why you need to be ready for Mobile Payments

The world of payments as we know it is changing and with it the way people shop and take or make payments. NFC, contactless payments, in-app payments or payment apps are the words on everyone’s lips.

Technology advances including broadband internet and mobile have reached critical mass, the continuous growth of smartphone penetration worldwide (up by 73% in Q2 2011 according to Canalys) and the ever increasing development of new apps have paved the way for this shift towards mobile payments. In the UK alone, one in three adults now uses a smartphone according to the latest report by telecoms regulator Ofcom. So why has the time come for Marketers and Retailers to be ready for Mobile Payments?

1 It’s only going to be the ‘next big thing’…
Mobile money apps have been on the peripheral for some time without many huge strides into their development. Juniper Research has now predicted mobile money transfer services will see users exceed 500 million worldwide by 2014 tripling in value by 2015 to reach $670bn. With Paypal releasing its new Android widget that will allow you to transfer money using near field communication. So it seems the mobile money train is finally leaving the station, and if other recent digital developments are to go by, it’s probably better to be on board.

2 It’s the next step in smart phone addiction
We already use our phones for everything: calling, texting, surfing the web, video chats and updating our social networks. Society, by and large, has grown accustomed to using phones for daily activities. Why shouldn’t our treasured smart phones also become our wallets as well? From the perspective of handset manufacturers the increase in the use of Mobile Money is likely to make us even more attached and protective to our phone not wanting to upgrade them at the slightest whim.

3 It offers new opportunities for location based marketing
One of the biggest opportunities for marketers is the increase in the ability to track consumer behavior and the location where purchasing takes place more instantly. As a result this opens a new world of location based marketing, for example let’s say your current weakness is a particular Italian cafe at lunchtime. Come Saturday, if you find yourself driving past that new Italian bistro in town, you might get a mobile notification inviting you to a half price lunch. It’s time to for retailers to cash in on this new source of information.

4 It’s another way to harness  the social media boom and build influence
Why has social media had such a boom? One simple reason, we like our friends, (and everyone else in the world) to know what we’re doing and we want to know what they’re doing. So the adoption of mobile money combined with location services can harness the super powers of social media for retailers – not only will we be buying stuff, we will be telling our friends what we think is worth spending money on and where to get it.

5 It could become an imperative instead of just an opportunity
For years we seem to have been scared of brands knowing too much about us, and finding interest-targeted ads a little bit creepy. Now though we seem to be embracing the sharing of our data and have become used to third parties knowing a lot about us and have enjoyed some of the benefits that can bring (like good discounts at your favorite restaurant!).  We could be about to see consumers begin to complain when retailers don’t know enough about them and an expectation for them to provide a mobile presence that makes purchasing easy.

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