The Olympics Games are an event known for highlighting technological innovation. Included in the top five innovations for this year’s London games are Mobile Payments. Mobile contactless payment applications are being provided by Visa and Samsung, the two official sponsors of the Games.
The main element that makes this innovation possible is that Samsung has already incorporated the enabling of NFC technology into the Samsung Galaxy III “the official phone of the Olympics.” Right now the mobile payments industry still attends the NFC enabling of all mobile phones; the iPhone 5 included.
At the Games in London, users can scan their phone on contactless terminals to make a purchase. The app is included with additional features such as transaction history and account balance re-call, so users can track spending. The purchase management feature could help overcome the nostalgia surrounding overspending. Although, overspending with Mobile Payments should be less of an issue, considering most people will be likely to spend less with their credit card statement constantly on hand.
The down-side of the contactless payment’s to be featured for the Olympics, is that purchases are limited to £20. If your purchase is 21£ you would not be able to make the purchase. The combination of cash and contactless card payment is also not an acceptable means of paying.
The featuring of Mobile Contactless Payments at the Olympics should though, raise some public interest in having the technology more readily available. Additionally, the Olympic platform should also encourage users who may be hesitant; to try using mobile payments, in the spirit of the games. After the 2012 Games, London particularly will be further equipped with contactless payment terminals; an estimated 140 000 set to be distributed before the games begin.
Read more about Mobile Payments at the 2012 Olympic Games
Expected rise in Mobile Shopping; User Friendliness and Consumer Insight should be at the top of the list
“John Donahoe, president/CEO of eBay said that eBay and PayPal’s expected $10 billion in volume transactions this year will be more than double what the companies saw last year. The results are proof that that there is a staggering surge in mobile shopping and payments, which did not exist years ago.” Although the eBay PayPal predictions were re-worked a number of times in the last quarter, the high number expectations further emphasize the drastic shift to Mobile Shopping to be seen in the coming year.
If the number of mobile shoppers is set to double as eBay predicts evidently this should lead to more people shopping exclusively with their mobile phone, naturally NFC payment should follow closely behind? We’d like to think so.
The company’s insightful strategy has already incorporated thought into the often dreaded part of paying by mobile phone; the tedious entering of credit card details. PayPal announcing two days ago they have acquired the start-up Card.io. Card.io specializes in credit card picture scanning; at just 15 cents a scan PayPal users will have the option of taking a picture of their card and license as supplement for entering credit card detail.
The consciousness of consumer opinion and user experience re-enforces the importance that Mobile Shopping and Payment remain effortless for users; with distinct & visible benefits, to lead to change in purchasing behavior.
On another note, as the shift to Mobile Shopping picks up traction it is important to look at leveraging the possibilities, instead of exploiting them. Recently published on Marketing Week by Michael Barnett an article highlighted exactly what Mobile Shopping should not be; license to spam customers with unwanted information. Barnett used the example of an unappreciated marketing campaign received from an Airline provider; pushing notifications asking participation in a government lobbying campaign.
Mobile Shopping may “provide valuable marketing data, but that value is unlikely to be realized if the business can’t use the program to engage emotionally with customers.” (Michael Barnett for Marketing Weekly)
The opportunity with data produced by Mobile Shopping, should lead to customer insight and a means of better relationships with shoppers by offering relevant rewards, couponing and marketing campaigns.
Sources: The Wall Street Journal, Starbucks
It’s not a secret that Apple has taken a less than aggressive approach in the mobile payment wars. An interesting article in the Wall Street Journal highlights that, this really shouldn’t be a surprise because it has always been part of the company’s angle. Piper Jaffray analyst at Gene Munster, comments on the Apple approach; “They let their competitors do their market research for them,” Piper also reminiscing of the other times that Apple seems to have let others test the waters; MP3 player, tablet etc….
Prefaced with a figure we like to keep in mind that; “Mobile payments are expected to exceed 600 billion worldwide by 2016,” the announcement of the Passbook, left more attention drawn to what it doesn’t do: “It can’t link directly to credit or debit cards, so consumers can’t use it to replace their wallets.” said Jessica Vascellaro of The Wall Street Journal. The PassBook now the remaining prefigure of Apple’s next plausible moves.
All the while, there are some other retailers who have made every effort to lead the way; Starbucks as an example has been quick in developing their own approach to mobile payments including mobile loyalty programs. Yesterday, Starbucks announced their mobile app for Android will be available in Canada, U.K. and the US; offering all three countries access to advanced functions:
- Store locator
- Load card with PayPal or Any major credit card (Canada/US only)
- Payments (available in over 14,000 stores worldwide)
- Account management/Loyalty Rewards; so you know just how close that next free drink is
- Pin code entry; for extended security
One of the key points underlined by Adam Brodman chief digital officer of Starbucks, is that their mobile payment innovation most importantly, “extends the number of customers who now have a faster and easier way to pay at Starbucks.” Emphasizing one of the essential values that we at AIRTAG believe in; Mobile Payments and other Mobile Solutions should be designed to offer an improved retail environment and optimal user experience.
The impact from globally trusted brands such as Starbucks could be influential on bettering trust towards mobile payments.
Read more about Starbucks mobile payments
Read the original Press release
Read more from The Wall Street Journal on Apple’s Mobile Wallet Strategy
Sweden: The Swedish telecom providers Telia, Tele2, Telenor and Three have announced the launch of their own wallet system, WyWallet, which will be NFC capable along with other mobile payment features. The partners together provide more than 97% of Sweden’s mobile phone users with service. The NFC feature of the WyWallet is expected to launch in 2013 after a pilot-project in Visby, Sweden.
Read more about NFC in Sweden and the WyWallet
Berlin: The partnership between MasterCard and Deutsche Telekom geared at “making make mobile payments a reality for Deutsche Telekom’s 93 million mobile customers across Europe,” (MasterCard Worldwide) was announced yesterday in Berlin. The collaboration emphasizes the need for cooperation amongst various players across the sector, to get the necessary traction for the NFC payment industry and to build consumer confidence.
The first mobile payments using phone tags and cards will be introduced later this year in Poland; a market known for high penetration of NFC enabled POS terminals. Shortly to follow, Germany will see a number of mobile payment pilot projects to be followed by a nationwide roll-out in the first half of next year. 2013 will also see the market opened to other issuing banks and partners. (MasterCard Worldwide)
Partnerships such as this one, further indicate that “we’re at a time when we’re seeing an accelerating movement away from cash – driven by technology,” (Ann Cairns, President, International Markets for MasterCard Worldwide) which will hopefully strengthen the customer perspective and enthusiasm for the services.
Watch the video on DT’s strategy of approach to conquer the European territory for Mobile Payments.
Read the full article
Sources: NFC Times, NFC World, MasterCard
San Francisco: At the annual Google I/O conference, Google announced some features prefacing further changes likely be seen to their current wallet. Among the announcements was the ‘Save to Wallet’ Application Programming Interface (APIs) for payment cards, which offers a “one-stop-shop for holding everything you’d carry in a regular wallet,” says the search giant.
“Customers redeem offers by showing the offer code at the point of sale or by tapping their NFC enabled phone. The point of sale recognizes the offer code and applies the offer to the basket,” says Google.
POS integration, Marketing, Web Integration
Simple, No inbox clutter, Reminders& Notifications, Convenience, Organization
This innovation highlights one of the important aspects of Mobile Shopping; visible benefits for both the merchant and the user and it is nice to see Google’s strategy moving in that direction.
One of the topics emphatically discussed in the world of NFC is whether or not the iPhone 5 will be equipped with NFC capabilities. The source 9to5Mac Apple Insider today posted an article strongly suspecting that the iPhone 5 will in fact be NFC enabled. Apple Insider famous for their pre-predictions posted information about the PassBook from Apple, before its release. The PassBook obviously would have a very strong tie-in with an NFC enabled iPhone.
The timing might be just about perfect for an NFC enabled iPhone 5; with Microsoft announcing last week the Windows 8 phone to be NFC equipped, the announcement of the Apple PassBook and MasterCard’s PayPass set for release sometime in the coming months.
If Apple were to release an NFC capable iPhone that would drastically speed the overall progress and the entire NFC payment eco-system would further adapt. More retailers would likely make the appropriate preparation with NFC enabled payment devices and card readers, which would in turn influence consumers. One of the big complaints being that there will not be enough retail locations enabled with NFC technology.
Jim Peters, CTO of SITA, featured on Apple Insider comments that for Apple to release an NFC enabled phone now it would really make sense. In the last year the number of retailers implementing NFC enabled technology has exploded and the devices are rapidly getting into the hands of the consumers; with only more to come.
“Jim Peters, agrees that NFC is coming to the iPhone and retailers should prepare for it… There is a lot of debate that NFC will never take off because of all the arguments. But you need to get ready, this is coming. This is going to happen. By the end of the year the majority of smartphones that you go and buy will have NFC on them. If in October the next iPhone comes out and it has NFC on it, it’s game over.”
Read the full article on Apple Insider
Learn more about NFC payment solutions/Secure Apps
“The future for NFC (Near Field Communication) looks very bright. Analysts have predicted that by 2015, one in two mobile phones will be NFC-enabled and that NFC will facilitate transactions worth $74 billion.” (Chung, MoDo News)
Yet, a question that still seems to be cycling around the NFC grid is all of the possible reasons why NFC success is being held back. The possible reasoning for road blocks seems to be somewhat circular; phones are not equipped with NFC technology, retailers are not equipped with NFC ready POS equipment and the question remains of how consumers really feel about the service.
Yet, in the last few weeks more mobile operators have announced NFC ready devices and plans for Wallet systems. Just a few days ago Microsoft announcing their Window’s 8 Phone to be equipped with NFC technology, along with the Microsoft Wallet as part of a strategy for outstanding the competition.
While we anxiously await a wider spread deployment of NFC ready retailers and devices, it is interesting to consider how those in the mobile payments industry can influence and encourage consumer support of the technology. Hwan Chung, CEO at Danal Europe has some interesting thoughts.
Acknowledging that most people do not have handsets capable of contactless payments, and that the stores that accept NFC payments are few and far between, Chung positively comments that there are some operators that are starting to make notable leaps advancing the industry as a whole.
“We’re starting to see mobile operators like O2 in the UK, and Rogers Communications in Canada, announce plans to enable NFC payments. This is backed up by payment providers like Visa and PayPal, who are also getting in on the act.” (Chung)
Chung emphasizes that whilst this is great, it is important that consumer flexibility be strongly considered because customers will want to take the reins in terms of deciding how they pay for purchases.
“Little has been done to provide customers with the flexibility that they want to make payments – and that’s the main issue holding back the industry, not concerns about security or service availability.” (Chung)
Within the mobile payment industry it is important that there is a certain level of understanding that consumers do not want to be ordered to do things a certain way and the early stages of the mobile payment industry should focus more on offering new purchasing channels (with encouragement to try them of course) and then letting the consumer decide.
“If operators and payment providers continue to dictate how mobile payments are made, NFC will remain on the starting blocks.” (Chung)
Read more from MoDo News
Read more about the Microsoft Windows 8 Phone
Mobile applications and online platforms need to be optimized to tie together the in-store and user experience.
A recent article in Forbes, discussing the current retailer obsession with the “Digital Strategy” as the ticket to customer loyalty highlights that really the obsession with online & mobile; marketing, shopping and loyalty programs are an attempt to master customer relationships.
It is not doubt that retailer’s need to be “firing on all cylinders,” (specialty retail, mobile, social media, marketing, e-commerce) but really what ties everything together is the “in-store” shopping experience, which now more than ever, customers expect to be perfectly flawless.
The in-store shopping experience:
- Only an in-store experience can provide, the seeing, touching and feeling of a product, something that cannot be replaced by e-commerce
- Because of the economic crisis, people are shopping less, so a seamless shopping experience; that is fun, pleasurable and acts as an escape from reality is expected
- There should be a pull together of the real-word and online experience- with Mobile bridging a consistent brand experience across all channels
The Mobile and Online Shopping Experience should not be the ultimate solution, moreover, “Smart companies will find ways to use the mobile app as a “teaser” experience that drives the interested to the store, whether for a deeper experience or to buy. ”
Read the full article on some of the factors that enable brands to leverage in-store potential
Find out more about using mobile and online platforms to enhance your retail space and in-store user experience
We may only be in the early stages of NFC payment technology, but the market will continue to see rapid growth. The worldwide penetration of NFC payment availability was at 8% in 2011 but is expected to grow to 53% in 2017. According to Berg Insight; a firm specializing in premier business intelligence for the telecom industry, NFC enabled point of sale terminals will grow from 3.9m to 43.4m, by 2017; with the US seeing the highest density.
The large 2011 market growth is attributed to the nationwide roll out of previous NFC pilot projects.
“The rapid growth was driven by a transition in the NFC-payments ecosystem from performing trials to accelerating the rollout of NFC-ready payment infrastructure, in preparation for the arrival of NFC-based mobile payment services,” say the forecasters at Berg.
The capabilities of NFC enabled POS terminals affect not only the whole payment ecosystem but also other important business aspects such as customer service and marketing, some of the reasons NFC is such an attractive market.
“Mobile wallet services will create an unprecedented opportunity for retailers to interact with consumers in real-time while their purchasing decisions are being formed, for instance by delivering personalized offers in real-time while consumers are inside the shop”, says Lars Kurkinen, telecom analyst at Berg Insight.
The Berg Insight report concluded 2 major details:
- The emergence of mobile wallet services will be the most significant development in the payment industry in the preceding years.
- The value-added services such as coupons, loyalty cards and good planning will be integrated into the daily POS terminal to allow a seamless experience for consumers.
Read the Berg Insight Report Summary
Read the full article on NFC WORLD