From m-commerce, through m-banking to couponing services, the level of mobile industry enthusiasm for using the mobile as a transactional device is understandably high.
Scratch the service of potential mobile transaction portfolios and it is easy to see why. Whether enabling instant international payments, credit and loan applications, stock trading, NFC retail goods payments or a host of marketing-led loyalty point collection and usage services, the opportunities appear endless.
But while market projections and developing service suites point to an industry worth in excess of $670 billion by 2015 (Juniper Research), translating this from a slideware to the balance sheet is no small task.
The likelihood of success, of course, cannot be questioned; not least because of the commitment (and investment) of the mobile industry to making it happen, or indeed the growing consumer acceptance of the mobile as a payment mechanism - which is as high as 70 percent in some markets. The associated rampant adoption of iOS and Android smartphones in developed markets, the functional possibilities they offer and the increasing market penetration of NFC-enabled handsets are also driving the market.
Consumers love their mobile devices; and there is ample evidence that should transaction services be mobilized in such a way as to offer some kind of differentiation, then consumers will adopt - whether that value is in increasing convenience for the consumer, giving them back more time, offering free ‘stuff’ or reducing the costs of goods and services. Ideally, it will be a combination of all. But the beauty of the mobile device is that it enables impulse online purchasing – from an advert seen in a train carriage or passing billboard. This will, of course, drive data traffic but also increase revenue-share returns between all the members of the mobile value chain – from the retailer right through to the mobile operator.
There are, of course, concerns. These range from the rapid ROI for mobile transaction services, how to assure the consumer adoption above, and how to build the right business models to get the money flowing through the value chain. But perhaps before all of these, we need to look to two key elements without which it will be impossible to build a platform for success; security and interoperability.
Released on 18.4.2012 Download