Future of Mobile Payments in the Enterprise
Mobile payments offer exciting new possibilities for the enterprise. Though mobile payments solutions are far from standardized, there’s a growing movement to remove hurdles from the payment process.
From SMS-based transactional payments and direct mobile billing to mobile web payments and the much-hyped Near Field Communication (NFC), mobile payments are already taking shape in the marketplace. For example, Google Wallet is already accepted at select businesses nationwide, and Apple recently won a patent for its iWallet initiative. Starbucks had upwards of 26 million mobile transactions in 2011—all within a year of launching its barcode-based mobile payment app. And Square is personalizing convenience for small businesses with Card Case.
With roots in the developing world as an alternate currency, mobile payments proved their efficacy as a means of doing business in previously inaccessible remote areas. While effective, this system was rife with fraud and lacked consumer trust. Today, in order to be effective and far-reaching, the mobile payment system can benefit by standardizing across banks and payment processors and proving its security and trustworthiness to consumers.
Beyond standardization, it’s important to think more about solving consumer and merchant problems and less about applying cool new technologies to the traditional transaction model, in the name of “innovation.” Focus on mobile payment solutions that remove steps from the payment process, rather than simply recreate the existing model on a mobile device.
Despite the challenges, the possibilities for mobile payments are seemingly endless. Not only do they have the potential to simplify the payment process, they also carry the potential of taking personalized customer interaction to a whole new level.
Let’s close with a tip for the enterprise: Rather than focusing on specific technologies or touch points, let's find innovative ways to remove major steps from transactions and simplify the entire process.
The original version of this blog post stated that the Starbucks app uses NFC technology. We have since corrected this error. Starbucks apps currently use barcode scanning for mobile payments.
|Evangeline Marzec, Mobile Strategist at Übermind | Deloitte, is a video games industry veteran. She is passionate about the future of mobile media and the role of mobile technology in international development. She holds a BA in Philosophy from University of Washington and an MBA from Thunderbird.|