Of late, you cannot visit a tech blog without reading the words mobile payments, mobile commerce or mobile wallet. Mobile payments are blowing up and revolutionizing the way consumers pay for goods and services. But what does it all mean? What kind of technology are we talking about here?
As a rule of thumb mobile payments is the umbrella statement referring to 3 types of payment technologies performed through a mobile device: mCommerce, mPayment and mWallets. Each of these has its own unique functionalities and offers a variety of benefits to the user.
mCommerce refers to payments made via mobile internet browser. For example, an iPhone owner opens up his or her mobile web browser (i.e. Safari) and goes to Amazon.com. On Amazon, they add a pair of shoes to their basket and then pay by entering their credit card and shipping information submits and receives a receipt via email. The user has just completed a mCommerce transaction.
mPayments refers to payments made through contactless mobile app technology, such as NFC (near-field communication). In this case, the consumer’s credit card information is stored in a retailer’s app and the user simply enters a pin or password prior to purchase, taps their phone to the NFC POSi and their information is sent for authentication.
mWallets refers to technologies that aim at replacing your entire wallet by storing your credit card and banking information virtually. An mWallet is an app that stores all of your credit cards, loyalty programs and offers and payment is made by “swiping” (NFC, click-to-pay, etc) your smartphone at check out. Popular mWallet applications include Google Wallet and Pay Pal Here.
As adoption of mobile payments continues to increase, the lines between the types of payments will continue to blur. Regardless of technology type, it is more important than ever for retailers to adopt stay on top of trends and consider a mobile strategy that incorporates mobile payments. Because of the convenience that mobile payments offer to customers, mobile payments have infinite revenue growing potential. In the coming months, expect to see an explosion in the popularity and success of this emerging technology.