It has been a busy month at AIRTAG HQ; a new office having been opened in New York, MasterCard’s® release of the UI SDK and exciting new business partnerships as well as innovations to be announced in the coming months. A recently article published on clickZ; highlighting the growing number as well as demographics of Smartphone Retail shoppers featured AIRTAG CEO & Cofounder, Jérémie Leroyer’s thoughts on the future of Mobile Shopping.
“Our vision is that the shopping experience is about to change and the mobile will become the main medium to change the shopping experience.”
According to comScore research, the month of July saw significant growth in the number of Mobile Shoppers with 4 out of every 5 Smartphone users accessing retail content. Dominating that number were females accounting for 56.1% of mobile retail shoppers, adults between the ages of 25-44 and households with salaries higher than 100k.
Undoubtedly the growth in the number of people shopping by Mobile creates a profoundly new opportunity to share information about promotions, products and any brand related content as well as the opportunity to create new user focused experiences.
“Our challenge is to invent new forms of retail, and new ways of delivering services and products to the customer in store,” added Jérémie. “If we don’t provide new services around mobile shopping, then the customer will not be interested.”
The AIRTAG focus remains on creating experiences that give the end user an incentive to shop by mobile phone, as many begin to see what a huge opportunity that is creating.
Read the full article including comments from AIRTAG’s CEO, Jérémie Leroyer.
Well, the first version of the Google Wallet in retrospect was a trial and error type endeavor. But, with the release of the new Google Wallet 2.0 strategy it seems as though the company has further aligned themselves with what we consider will be necessary to make mobile payments work; open infrastructure. The Google Wallet 2.0 will also includes advanced security features an aspect that addresses some of the much raised concern surrounding protection and security.
With the new Google 2.0 Wallet users can up load major credit cards which will be store in “the cloud”; Visa, MasterCard, Amex and Discover for making purchases. For in-store purchases a Virtual MasterCard will be stored on the Secure Element to process the transaction. Google calls this aspect the, “Google Wallet I.D.” The Virtual MasterCard will permit non MasterCard holders to pay on any PayPass ™ terminal.
This is an exciting as well as a very strategic partnership for MasterCard but will also benefit many Google Wallet users. MasterCard® PayPass™ terminals are expediently being deployed meaning that even those who are not paying with the PayPass™ App, can use other cards on the terminals. For example to illustrate the opportunity the partnership creates; there are already 200,000 MasterCard® PayPass™ terminals in the US whereas Google Wallet has only signed up around 25 retailers. (Dan Balaban, NFC Times)
“At the heart of the new version of Google’s cloud based Wallet is a virtual MasterCard in the phone which is linked to their credit or debit cards that are stored in the cloud.” (Mung Ki Woo, group executive, mobile, at MasterCard Worldwide, wrote on the MasterCard cashless conversations blog)
To address security concerns Google Wallet 2.0 will feature remote disabling and resetting of the mobile wallet if the device is lost or stolen. The Google Wallet App also features a Passcode for the Wallet which cannot be unlocked.
The improvements to the Google Wallet along with the MasterCard partnership further indicates that open infrastructure and scalable solutions are at the heart of winning the critical mass for mobile payments.
Read more from the MasterCard Cashless Conversations Blog
Read more from NFC Times on the Google Wallet 2.0 strategy
“Consumers will happily make NFC mobile payments if the opportunity arises.” (NFC Payments Report, 2012)
The NFC Payments Report 2012, gives some interesting perspective insight leading up to the predictions for mobile payments in 2012. After interviews and surveys with more than 3,000 consumers and 500+ industry experts and executives, conclusively 2012 should be the “tipping point” for NFC mobile payments. However, the anticipated growth can only become a reality with a fair amount of pull-together from all players in the equation because a few essential pieces are still missing.
According to the report; 2/3 of consumers interviewed from both the US and UK, would not hesitate to make an NFC payment, if the service was readily available. Getting additional consumers on board; according to the experts, is constitutive of all parties (including retailers) relaying information strongly emphasizing the wider benefits of mobile payments.
At this point the industry experts are already convinced. Executives believe that mobile payments will be a strong source of revenue and that mobile payments will be able to deliver more effective up and cross selling.
According to the report, the seemingly most difficult aspect of mobile payment adoption is the convincing of retailers. Building customer enthusiasm is more a standard marketing procedure whereas retailers want to see tangible benefits and results e.g. investment return.
Although retailer “partnerships are still not cemented,” they are absolutely necessary for wider success. This may well be dependent on four factors;
- Cost of the required POS technology
- Visible Investment return
- The cost of participating in the “wallet”
- Intermediary charges
In proximity shops where paying as quickly as possible with an NFC device would be most visibly convenient; newspaper stands, fast-food restaurants, grocery stores and coffee shops; independent retailers will likely be more hesitant to adopt a service that may lower profit margins. A detail that still needs to be given considerable thought is the intermediary fees in those situations.
Although early 2012, has already seen a lot of traction from leading retail brands in their uptake of mobile payment strategy as well as the implementation of NFC capable cash software; further adoption by large scale retailers and retail chains experts argue, is still an important factor that will continue to push the whole industry forward.
Read more about the NFC Payment Report 2012
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