Mobile commerce what exactly is it?
Mobile commerce refers to the act of paying for products and services with your mobile device which is most likely a smartphone, a laptop or a tablet. Mobile commerce is a type of electronic commerce that doesn’t involve the exchange of paper money like in the traditional way to do commerce.
What are the benefits of mobile commerce?
Mobile commerce usage is increasing at an accelerating pace because mobile commerce is so helpful and it comes with so many benefits.
First and foremost, mobile commerce is simple and intuitive. You don’t have to read a manual to learn how to buy with your mobile phone. Let a more advanced user show you how it’s being done and you will immediately and successfully be able to do it.
Most mobile apps are designed to be easy to use. Mobile phones have small screens that do not allow a lot of space. This is why the mobile apps often include only the most important information and nothing more. This brevity makes it easy for customers to use them.
Mobile commerce saves you time as a buyer. You don’t have to wait until you get to an Internet connected device to order your favourite item. You can simply order it while waiting in a line or during a coffee break. The commerce done over the Internet from a desktop computer has its advantages over the traditional commerce. On top of this, consider that mobile commerce is even more advantageous and convenient.
Many people have the bad experience of remembering what they have to buy while walking on the street but they immediately forget what they’ve briefly remembered. With mobile commerce, this will no longer be an issue. You will be able to make the purchase as you remember it, right then and there.
Imagine carrying thousands of stores in your pocket. This is how it feels when you take advantage of the new mobile commerce technologies.
How does mobile commerce work?
Mobile commerce is done via secure websites hosted or rented by merchants. The merchants will accept your credit card information and then their software will exchange information with your bank account until the transfer of money between your own bank account and the merchant’s bank account is complete.
Mobile commerce can be considered as an e-commerce variety. This is the case because it uses an electronic medium to securely send and receive information that allows the purchase of products and services.
How do the payment systems work in mobile commerce?
The payment systems work like they do on the desktop. They make it ease the transfer money from the buyer’s bank account to the merchant’s bank account. The credit card information travels to the merchant’s secure servers and from there it’s being sent to the involved banks.
In a couple of days, the actual electronic transfer between the banks is complete and the buyer has less money in its bank account and the merchant has more money. Almost the entire process is done electronically.
When you use your mobile phone to buy products and services, you can also pay by sending a SMS to a certain number. The method is called the direct mobile payment method. It doesn’t involve a credit card. The money are being transferred by the mobile provider to the merchant’s bank account. In return, the price of the product or service is added to the phone bill of the buyer. This type of method is extremely popular in Asia where more than 70% of all the mobile payments happen through this method.
The most convenient choice is probably the use of an online wallet like Paypal. An online wallet saves you time by not having to enter your credit card details every time you want to make a purchase.
Which are the different payment methods used including NFC in Mobile Commerce?
There are multiple ways to pay with your mobile device. One of the most popular is to simply buy from websites like you would normally do it via a desktop computer. With a mobile phone, you can either buy from a mobile application, from a native application or from an old vanilla website.
Paypal is also a wonderful option especially if you want to make fast payments to people from all around the world.
NFC or Near Field Communication is a new technology that allows smartphone owners to make payments with a single tap. Imagine transferring data from two smartphones just by tapping them. You can also go into a restaurant and automatically pay for your pizza with a single tap. Visa has a NFC enabled application that allows you to do exactly this.
A few companies out there offer a new type of service that lets you accept credit cards with your mobile phone. You are being given a card reader and with it you can charge the credit cards of your customers in less than 20 seconds. It’s really easy to use and it’s perfect for people who visit their customers at home.
How popular is Mobile Commerce today and where is it likely to head?
The mobile commerce is an industry in its infancy. Like most such industries, it’s going to grow at a rapid pace for the next few years or even decades. 25% of all mobile users shop with their mobile phones. This tells you that customers have already embraced this technology.
More and more merchants understand the power of mobile marketing and mobile commerce. This is why 85% of them declared that they have made mobile commerce one of their priorities in 2012. This percentage is up from 68% in 2011. This shows that more and more business owners become aware of the power of mobile commerce.
What is the future of mobile commerce?
The future of mobile commerce is bright. In a couple of years, almost any person out there will own a smartphone. The sale of smartphones has now surpassed the sale of vanilla phones. Millions of new people will have web access and mobile access. Millions more will buy stuff with their smartphones.
A study shows that the mobile retail sales will reach $12 billion by 2014. This target will be easy to reach because it’s predicted that by 2014 more than 1 billion users worldwide will own a smartphone device.
Statistics on mobile commerce
Many studies have been done on mobile commerce. I’m going to show you just a few that paint the overall picture.
There are more than 13 million mobile users who have already visited retail online content with their mobile device. Mobile commerce grew by 86% between 2010 and 2011 and its growth pace is expected to continue with no end in sight. 91% of the UK mobile users have previously used their phone to buy stuff.
There is adequate secondary research available to highlight the future of Mobile Commerce-
Insight Research Corporation states that by 2014, 2.2 billion consumers will generate $124 billion in financial transactions.
Advisory Group has illustrated that payments from remote devices will grow from $389 million in 2009 to $8.6 billion in 2014.
Frost & Sullivan suggests the mobile transactions market (non-NFC-based mobile payments, mobile banking, remittance, and NFC-based mobile payments) in Europe alone will grow to €4 billion– €5 billion by 2013
Arthur D. Little had predicted that Mobile payments would reach $250 billion in sales volume by end 2012.
Gartner again had predicted that worldwide adoption of mobile payments in 2009 grew by 70 percent, to 73 million people; 190 million people will adopt mobile payments worldwide by 2013 and estimates that 3 percent of the U.S. population will be using mobile payments by 2012
Juniper Research has been the most bullish of all, reporting that the value of mobile
payments for digital and physical goods, money transfers and NFC (Near Field Communications) transactions will reach almost $630 billion by 2014 and they also predicted that by 2014, the mobile payments market for physical goods will be $100 billion.
In order for these predictions to come true convenience, navigation, search and being found are going to be critical as will be new methods of payments such as NFC.
How are the payments gateways used in the case of mobile commerce?
A payment gateway is a point of control that lets businesses invoice their customers in a secure environment. Payment gateways ensure that the credit card information is encrypted and securely transferred between parties.
The payment gateways for mobile commerce are no different from the more traditional payment gateways. The payment gateways have their equivalent when it comes to the direct mobile payment method which is done via SMS. In this case, the customer doesn’t interact with the payment gateway at all. Only the mobile operator interacts with it when it pays the merchant in the name of the customer.
The security involved in mobile commerce?
Mobile commerce security is as good as the more traditional web security. A secure SSL enabled page works just as well on a mobile device as it works on a desktop device.
When it comes to other ways to make payments, most of these technologies have their own security features. The NFC technology is an exception because it’s not secured by default but it’s going to be because Apple bought a company that offers security solutions for the NFC technology.
The direct mobile payment method involves low ticket items. This means that the security issues are less important. And the merchants that can receive direct mobile payments have to be approved before they can ask for payments by using this method.
All mobile payment methods offer their own particular ways to increase the security and safety of the buyer and of the sensitive credit card information. They are almost impossible to break but like any other fortress-like structure, their defences are sometimes overrun by expert hackers. In most situations, you shouldn’t worry about the mobile commerce security because it’s most likely taken care by the merchant. Simply check that you are visiting a https web page. With paucity of time more and more transactions take place online and specifically on mobile commerce enabled sites. The value of transactions is likely to increase due to mobile commerce but also the value per transaction is on the rise in mobile commerce.