Chuck Martin is a New York Times Business bestselling author, Editor of the MediaPost mCommerce Daily, where he writes the daily MobileShopTalk column, and CEO of Mobile Future Institute. Here’s the top three things he has to say about mobile payments.
There’s a lot of interest in mobile payments, raising the obvious issues of what’s holding it back.
Among the issues are three key components.
- First, the mobile payment system needs to be ubiquitous. This means it has to work everywhere, every time. Consumers need to be able to pay via mobile phone for tickets, transportation, utilities, items in stores, and at vending machines.
- Second, mobile payment transactions must be global and seamless. Just like credit cards, generally, and cash, once converted to local currency, mobile payment experiences should be similar region to region, country to country.
- And third, there can be no question of the security of mobile payments. Research consistently shows that fear of security breaches (and privacy, of course) is the top consumer concern around mobile payments. On this count, financial services companies generally are proficient — it’s in their corporate DNA. The real issue is what consumers think.
The solution is not just high-security technology but instilling confidence in everyday consumers that it is real and bulletproof, not an insignificant undertaking.
The idea of paying with a phone presents many unknowns for consumers and one Target-like data breach just adds to the fear of a person’s financial information being compromised.
The success of mobile payments is less about the technology – it’s there – and more about consumer perceptions and behaviors around how it all works.
The bottom line is until consumers see a clear value in paying by mobile, they will remain comfortable using cash, checks and plastic, payment methods that work well.