Mobile payments a differentiation avenue for retailers

Early adopters view retail mobile payments as a quicker, more convenient, and "cool" approach to paying over traditional forms. However, concerns over security, continued fragmentation, lack of consistent acceptance by retailers, and uneducated retail staff are hindering advancements and its increased adoption.  

A recent study by Strategy Analytics (www.strategyanalytics.com) has found that consumers are more likely to trust, setup, and engage in a mobile payment app that comes preinstalled on their phone and can provide information as to which locations accept mobile payments.

A new report from the Media and Services UX group at Strategy Analytics investigated the motivations to use, barriers to adoption and preferences, of mobile payments. The biggest barriers to adoption for these, aside from security, will continue to be the fragmentation of various mobile payment apps and technologies utilized within different retailers.

However, with the emergence of Apple Pay using NFC, Google Wallet's recent acquisition of Softcard, and Samsung's recent acquisition of Loop Pay, the mobile payment ecosystem is becoming less fragmented and more aligned.

Furthermore, Samsung's offering could actually work to resolve the issue of acceptance, as consumers should be able to pay at all self-swipe credit card pay terminals, thus removing the need to seek NFC-only terminals.

"Mobile payments are the wave of the future for greater convenience," comments Christopher Dodge, report author and Associate Director.

"More retailers need to look at accepting mobile payment solutions from large players such as Apple, Google, and Samsung – brands consumers know and are more likely to have pre-existing associations of trust with."

However, retailers need to go beyond simply accepting mobile payments, notes Dodge.

"Retailers need to effectively promote their acceptance of advanced mobile payment solutions and thoroughly educate staff on how to assist the consumer.  This will help to create further consumer awareness, and also lead to greater repeat visits by consumers excited to use their phone to pay for their items."

Kevin Nolan, VP, User Experience Innovation Practice, added, "Mobile payment introduces a 'wow-factor' that in this early market, provides differentiation for retailers."

Nolan notes that consumers need more education in learning about the securities involved with mobile payments, in addition to the convenience of using it.

"Providing incentives and discounts for consumers to download and use their phone as a payment solution can help to drive early adoption."

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