A report fresh out of Nielsen found that shoppers behave quite differently when they’re doing their shopping on tablets rather than smartphones. Tablets are a lot more likely to be used for product browsing and tablet users write more product reviews.
Two thirds of smartphone shoppers use their devices mostly at home, while the same goes for four fifths of tablet users. More often than not, they watch TV while their playing with their smart devices. Tablet owners are more active with product research (59 percent) and are more likely to purchase physical items (38 percent) than smartphone shoppers (24 percent).
However, smartphone shoppers make up for it by being more active outside the home. On the other hand, Nielsen found that quite a few mobile shoppers are on the sofa while they’re shopping. This is true of 95 percent of tablet users and 72 percent of smartphone users, who make their purchases from home. Tablet users are more likely to make a purchase overall.
In a brick-and-mortar setting, smartphones reign supreme. As many as 70 percent of smartphone shoppers use a store locator to plan their shopping trip, while 37 percent arrive with organised shopping lists stored on their phones. The majority of smartphone and tablet shoppers use their devices to check prices before pulling the trigger. More smartphone users do this in physical stores. Smartphones also lead the way when it comes to mobile coupons and mobile payments.
Even when their shopping spree is done, many shoppers turn to their tablets to write product reviews or write comments about their purchases on social media. The majority of smartphone and tablet shoppers also use their devices to track the progress of their online orders.
Telco Everything Everywhere (EE) has announced its Cash on Tap service, or NFC payments through a mobile app, and it is largely built by European company PrePay Solutions.
PrePay will be offering e-Money issuing, BIN sponsorship, and transaction processing for Cash on Tap, supported through a proprietary app service that lets the app and NFC phone act as a digital wallet.
Payment options include NFC payments through MasterCard PayPass, online payments with a virtual MasterCard, storing credit and debit card details, loading funds from bank transfer, debit and credit cards, as well as customer balance enquiry and transaction history.
Users will be able to use their mobiles for contactless payments as well.
EE customers will be able to get the app through Google Play, though it only works on a select number of 4G handsets.
PrePay MD Ray Brash said there’s been a lot of anticipation for proper digital mobile payments, and this development makes it a reality for the first time in the UK.
For months now we’ve been reading very optimistic reports on the future of mobile payments and m-commerce, but one outfit is apparently looking beyond the hype. Research firm eMarketer has slashed its growth estimate for proximity mobile payments in half.
Last October eMarketer forecasted that mobile payments would hit $2.13 billion this year, but in its latest note it puts the figure at $1 billion. Although the number of mobile transactions has more than tripled over the past two years, growth is apparently slowing down, plagued by a multitude of issues.
The firm pointed out that delays and adoption issues are hampering growth. The fact that there are already several competing platforms isn’t helping, either. However, it is still looking good in the long run. By 2016 mobile transactions should hit 2016, roughly a year behind the previous eMarketer schedule. Just a year later, in 2017, mobile payments should hit $58 billion.
Aside from the usual hardware teething problems, mobile payment outfits need to address security concerns and streamline the process itself. At the moment, the user experience still involves too much friction, according to PayPal CTO James Barrese. The ultimate goal is to come up with a one-touch payment scheme that would be a lot simpler and quicker than the good old card swipe. That probably won’t come about soon, and maintaining a level of security deemed acceptable by consumers might be very challenging.
In addition, the fact that there are several players vying for their slice of the pie, using their own systems and infrastructure, means that there is plenty of room for consolidation, reckons Venture Beat. However, big players aren’t very open to consolidation, or even cooperation, hence it is very unlikely that a single platform can break out of the pack and transform itself into an industry standard.
The mobile wallet market is about to get big, huge even. According to a new report published by Transparency Market Research, the global mobile wallet market will reach $1,602.4 billion by 2018. In EMEA it will grow at a CAGR of 30.7 percent from 2012 to 2018 and EMEA will be the largest mobile wallet market in the world by 2018.
EMEA accounted for about 40 percent of the global mobile wallet share in 2011, but the Asia Pacific region is expected to see the fastest growth over the next five years.
The staggering figures sound optimistic to say the least, but Transparency Market Research is basing them on a few emerging trends that hold a lot of promise. The outfit found that affordable NFC enabled phones and POS (point of sale) systems will be the main drivers of growth over the next few years.
Retail is currently the biggest application for mobile wallet services and the trend is set to continue, due to ease of payment using smartphones and initiatives to introduce new POS terminals in convenience stores. Vending machines are also a potent market. Mobile network operators are expected to play a pivotal role in future mobile wallet adoption.
Unsurprisingly, the key players in the market will be Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal, Google and others from the list of usual suspects.
However, it won’t be just smooth sailing. Quite a few consumers still don’t know how mobile wallets actually work and we’re pretty sure that many aren’t even aware of their existence. Security and privacy remain sources of concern, too.
Starbucks has started accepting contactless payments in more than 550 stores in the UK. Barclaycard Global Payment Acceptance and Visa Europe are behind the tap-to-pay system, which seems to be gaining traction.
Starbucks says that cash payments are losing popularity fast, as only one out of three transactions are made in cash nowadays.
The system should make card transactions even faster, cutting queue times. Starbucks said the rollout of contactless follows other innovations implemented in the past, including a bespoke mobile payment app.
“Contactless payments are changing the way we pay in the UK. Transaction numbers are growing rapidly and with more than one in four UK Visa cards now contactless we’re expecting usage to quadruple again by the end of 2013,” said Mark Austin, Vice President at Visa Europe. “We’re delighted that Starbucks is joining the growing number of retailers who now offer contactless payments to their customers.”
There are currently over 27 million Visa contactless cards issued in the UK and contactless payments are accepted at more than 250,000 terminals in the UK, including on London Buses, which have seen more than 2 million transactions since launching contactless payments in December 2012.
Starbucks is behind the times and doesn’t pay much corporation tax. 711s and Family Marts in old Taipei have been piloting a combined NFC card for metro and other transactions for years.
A research report released by TransFirst and ControlScan has found that small merchants need to step up their game in m-commerce and optimise their websites for mobile. Otherwise they might be missing out on some serious dosh.
The survey, called Small Merchants and Mobile Payments: 2013 Survey on Technology Awareness and Adoption, found that a staggering 82 percent of e-commerce merchants don’t even know whether a purchase on their website came from a mobile device or a PC.
This is a rather alarming figure, since data from those that do distinguish between PC and mobile shoppers indicates that mobile visitors account for a significant portion of online sales, and mobile is growing fast. A survey conducted last year found that 10 percent of respondents used tablets and smartphones to accept credit card payments, but the figure has shot up to 17 percent in less than a year’s time.
Another key finding of the survey shows 49 percent of e-commerce merchants know their websites are not currently optimised for mobile devices and an additional 17 percent say they don’t know or are unsure about their site’s current status. This indicates that as many as two thirds of these merchants may be putting up roadblocks to the growing number of mobile consumers.
“The mobile consumer is knocking at the small merchant’s door,” said Craig Tieken, Director of Product at TransFirst. “Business owners who aren’t already up to speed with mobile payment acceptance need to have a viable plan of action to get there.”
Dave Abouchar, Senior Director of Product Management for ControlScan, said the survey shows that small merchants have a real business need to adopt mobile trends. He stressed that now is the time to embrace the new trends if they don’t want to miss out.
NFC has been around in select high-end phones for years, and Google has included NFC support in every Nexus handset dating back to the Nexus S, which launched in late 2010. However, Apple and a few other names were not as keen to embrace it.
Google is planning to revamp its Google Wallet digital payments platform at Google I/O. However, it seems plans for a physical credit card have been shelved, at least for the time being.
According to AllThingsD, Google informed its staff that the card was ditched in a memo circulated after Google Wallet head Osama Bedier announced he is leaving the company.
However, although the card is history, Wallet is about to get a small revamp. Google will announce a number of changes at I/O, including an update to its rewards programme, more offers and loyalty points, along with the addition of more merchants.
Without a physical card though, Google Wallet will still rely solely on NFC technology, which hasn’t taken off yet. It was hoped that a proper card could push Google Wallet to the next level, but now it seems Google is rethinking its approach. Google doesn’t want to become a bank, or the next Visa. It wants to coexist with existing players and tap their vast infrastructure.
On the gossipy side, sources told AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes that Google CEO Larry Page pulled the plug on the card launch after he witnessed a glitchy demo last week. Apparently Page had long been sceptical of a physical card and the buggy demo was the last straw.
Marks & Spencer has launched a small pilot program to test its new mobile payments service. The M&S Digital Lab app was launched in February and Marks & Spencer says it will help it explore emerging technologies and understand how they might work.
However, the new mobile payments service is not actually a part of the m-commerce app. It is merely an element of Marks & Spencer’s overall marketing and technology campaign, reports QR Press Codes. Marks & Spencer is using a third-party app to try out its new service.
The Paddle app was developed by a London based startup and it is supposed to be leaner and easier to use than competing solutions. The app sorts out transactions by scanning QR codes and developers claim it is very secure.
The information is transmitted in the cloud, the credit card information and delivery address need to be submitted only once. Only the last four digits of the card must be submitted to validate the purchase, which should speed up transactions and improve security.
The payments industry is slowly starting to adopt new mobile payments technologies, but industry leaders believe that the digital wallet concept is overhyped, along with NFC.
The Payments Innovation Jury, an anonymous group of 25 industry leaders gathered in a hollowed out volcano, reckons the next wave of e-payment innovation will come from Asia rather than Europe.
The secretive Payment Innovation Jury features members from 14 different countries whose names are kept private, so they can speak freely. Most members are or have been high level execs in companies such as MasterCard, PayPal and Visa, reports Venture Beat.
In their latest report, the jury concluded that NFC and digital wallets are overhyped, and we tend to agree. Most members don’t believe NFC will live up to its hype and many reckon there is no demonstrable need for contactless payments from consumers. However, it is worth noting that NFC has plenty of applications other than mobile payments. More than half of the group believe digital wallets will replace credit and debit card payments, but a sizable number don’t agree.
“The Jury offered their views on which payments innovation has the greatest hype rating and therefore the biggest risk that the business case will not be achieved,” the report said. “Hype is particularly prevalent in payments, with many organizations trying very hard to talk up their chosen innovation in order to achieve the necessary critical mass.”
In other words it is beast to tread carefully, just in case. Many outfits are indeed trying to talk up their solutions, but we are still a long way from widespread adoption and standardization. One jury member argued that progress in Europe is hampered by standardization initiatives such as SEPA, but a lot of innovation is expected from Asia and Africa.
Interestingly, the group found that cross-border remittance services have a lot of potential. Sending money abroad via mobile payment solutions could be the most profitable niche over the next five years. It is a rather big market. Plenty of countries in Eastern Europe, North Africa and practically the entire third world have sizable expat communities who send money back home on a regular basis.
Mobile payments are slowly but surely going mainstream. Mass adoption of smartphones and tablets is making the dream of fully digital wallets a reality and it is opening new possibilities for traditional banks, credit card companies and net-based payment services.