By Daniel Hunter
New research, which takes a holistic view of mobile payment, predicts that 20 million shoppers will be using their mobile phones to pay for goods and services by the end of the decade, with the value of their purchases tripling to as much as £14.2 billion by 2018. The study says that by 2020, mobile payments will represent 1.4% of total consumer spending.
The report by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) says that the business benefits of widespread adoption of mobile payment methods in the UK will mean a reduction in fraud, lower transaction costs, the easing of cash flow problems and consumers regaining control of their finances.
Recent research from the United States backs up Cebr’s findings that mobile payment will significantly boost the economy of any country that sees the adoption of the technology. In the US, mobile devices are already fundamentally changing the way brick-and-mortar businesses accept payments. The report from customer transaction consultancy Javelin estimates that mobile point of sale (mPOS) could expand payment card acceptance by up to 19 million businesses, which could account for up to $1.1 trillion in annual new-card payments.
UK-based mobile payment specialist Powa Technologies have already made significant headway both in the UK and further afield with its mPowa mobile payment system. The system uses a compact card reader, which communicates with a mobile device via Bluetooth, enabling merchants to accept payments on the move, boosting productivity and convenience for businesses and consumers alike.
Powa’s Chief Executive Dan Wagner is an experienced technology entrepreneur and a mobile payment evangelist: “Mobile point of sale should be at the heart of any retail technology strategy. Its line-busting technology will be especially helpful in crowded shops in the run up to the festive season, improving the shopping experience by reducing waiting time and making the process more personalised.”
Placing mobile payment at the centre of a group of new approaches and technologies that can improve the customer experience and boost engagement in the High Street is crucial for the survival of hard-pressed retailers and for the future growth of the economy as a whole. Dan Wagner concludes: “This is a crucial time of year for the retail industry. More than ever before it needs a technology-driven revolution to create new ways to engage with customers as they gear up for Christmas.
"There are a variety of ways to achieve this including mobile point of sale. Some retailers like the Apple Store have pioneered a more informal, less linear shopping format that allows for browsing and purchasing to be interlinked using mobile payment strategies. Tailoring shopping to the preferences of the consumer with bespoke recommendations that mimic the online experience is also a key way retailers can improve engagement. Technologies like mobile payment are bringing shopping into the modern era.”
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