Mobile Payments: Converting One Person at a Time

by Net Future Institute on May 2, 2013

By Chuck Martin

Inch by inch, various aspects of mobile payments are moving forward.

Just over the last few days, a series of small, individual announcements have been made by different mobile payment entities.

While none of these are earth shattering by themselves, it strikes me that taken together they provide an indicator of the day-by-day progress being made in the general area.

  • Square updated its register app to simplify the payment process for retailers, mainly targeted to restaurants. The fine-tune lets restaurateurs customize orders at the counter before sending them to the kitchen and add customer name or number on each kitchen ticket.
  • PayPal introduced its new Log In With PayPal that allows consumers to use their PayPal account, including billing and shipping information, all of which can be enabled on mobile sites. The idea is that consumers need only remember their PayPal username and password for different retailers, a tip toward the one-tap buy. Through Discover, PayPal is moving into acceptance by more than 2 million merchant outlets by the end of this year.
  • Snapfinger, the restaurant industry mobile-based commerce platform, launched on-premise, self-checkout and a mobile payment app called Snapfinger Mobile Payment. The system integrates with retailers’ point of sale systems. Diners can pay via mobile, using credit cards, branded store cards, prepaid cards and even PayPal or Google Wallet.
  • Isis, the mobile payment venture of AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile, introduced loyalty tie-in and rewards for purchases at vending machines. When consumers pay at the machines using their mobile wallets, they receive rewards, such as a free product from that vending machine.
  • PayAnywhere partnered with the school parent group PTO Today, to allow members to accept credit and debit card payments for events like fundraisers, auctions and group dues directly from their smartphones and tablets

These aren’t banks or credit card companies, but they are facilitating mobile payments. In essence, they’re re-engineering consumer payment behavior, which will be a lengthy process.

They are converting one person by one payment at a time.

     Chuck Martin is editor of the mCommerce Daily at MediaPost and writes the daily MobileShopTalk column. He is the author of “Mobile Influence,” “The Third Screen,” and “The Smartphone Handbook.” He is CEO of Mobile Future Institute and a frequent mobile keynote speaker and mobile marketing speaker internationally.

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