When I say that mobile payments are touch-and-go, it’s not that I am worried about successful adoption. For those in the industry, those concerns are fading fast. In fact, I see touch-and-go becoming a metaphor for the speed and convenience of mobile check-outs. A metaphor that is borne out by yet more research released this past month.
In fact, hardly a week goes by without new data and reports confirming the upward trend in the use of smartphones for all kinds of payment and shopping experiences.
For example statistics from the US market - in a report completed by the Integer group and M/A/R/C Research (click here to download the full report) - confirm that the sheer size of the audience for mobile payments is vast. The report says two-thirds of the US mobile market is made up of smartphones: That is an awful lot of connected users and potential mobile payments. It also notes a six per cent YOY increase in the number of shoppers who have used mobile payments, rising to 36 per cent for 2014.
The market is huge and growing, but there was even more encouraging news in the UK. A quarterly report by IMRG Capgemini found that more than half of the traffic that UK e-retail sites received was from mobile and tablet devices - A staggering growth from only three per cent just four years ago. Although that's perhaps less surprising when you consider a report by UK regulator Ofcom that estimated that 44 per cent of UK households now owned a tablet device.
So it would seem convenience is key. It's easier to look on a tablet or your phone at e-commerce sites rather than fire up the family computer or laptop. You can shop in front of the TV, on-the-train, even some midnight shopping from the comfort of your own bed.
The same Capgemini report also suggested that basket abandonment rate from mobile shoppers was as low as 27 per cent. I find this quite surprising honestly. I would imagine, filling in details using a touch screen to be more of a hassle than using a mouse and keyboard, but it seems the convenience of using a device that is with you all the time trumps that. Just imagine how low abandonment rates would be with Onescan's On-device solution for mobile devices and tablets. One push of a button and registration, log-in and payment are all complete.
There's no doubt in my mind that the mobile payments industry is a bit touch-and-go: That's its strength actually.
By Matthew Taylor 10th October 2014
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