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Mobilising consumer payments

Thursday July 26 2012

Retailers need to make it easier for their customers to buy from them regardless of the platform, according to mobile payments expert John Milliken. Currently, consumers are finding most social media sites, adverts and mobile apps to be non-transactional

Retailers need to make it easier for their customers to buy from them regardless of the platform, according to mobile payments expert John Milliken. Currently, consumers are finding most social media sites, adverts and mobile apps to be non-transactional

 

John Milliken, Mobile Money Network chief executive, told Retail Technology: “From our research, we can see that this has resulted in approximately £2.4 billion in lost revenues for retailers every year. Smartphones used by over 50% of consumers (Comscore, 2012) can lead to higher sales conversions, as they enable people to buy from any channel anywhere, anytime faster than ever.”

 

Keeping pace with mobile change

 

As advances in mobile technology change the way we are able to shop, Milliken said retailers need to move quickly to take advantage of this shift: “All the research points to 2012 being a critical year for the mobile.

 

“A mobile phone is no longer just a communications device – it is so much more than that now,” he continued. “Major players across the retail ecosystem are investing heavily in technology that revolutionises the way consumers behave from price comparison on the go to contactless payments and 'm-wallets'.

 

“Understanding this technology is the first step for retail brands and consumers alike. With mobile apps and websites being rapidly deployed, it is clear that retailers understand the potential in mobile – but there is so much more to this than one-off apps.”

 

Getting closer to consumers

 

Milliken added: “Never more than a metre or so away from us at any one time, the mobile is our digital remote control on our lives.” For a retailer, he asserted that the mobile is also the one piece of technology that can link all its sales channels, whether that be a national advertising campaign or a Facebook page.

 

“If you can allow your customers to buy any product from you, wherever they see it at the touch of a mobile button, you have a huge sales conversion opportunity,” he suggested.

 

“We believe that identifying a product and purchasing automatically using the mobile device is the retail industry’s future. Our instant mobile checkout technology can be put anywhere a retailer communicates with a potential customer. That might be on its Facebook page, on Pinterest, through its own branded mobile application or m-commerce website or through other existing channels such as online or in print campaigns,” Milliken said.

 

To showcase the technology innovation available to retailers, Mobile Money Network recently launched transactional quick response (QR) codes and image recognition on its own brand application, ‘Simply Tap,’ enabling customers of those retailers already signed up to the platform to scan or take a snapshot of the desired product through the app and click to purchase instantly. “We expect to add audio identification in the forthcoming months meaning customers can buy from radio or TV advertising,” Milliken added.

 

Positive shopper response

 

“Retail customers including Carphone Warehouse, Thorntons, HMV and Liam Gallagher’s fashion brand Pretty Green are all seeing a really positive customer response and increasing sales, using our instant mobile checkout either in their own existing channels or by pointing their customers to Simply Tap,” he said.

 

Among all these great innovations, security is going to be a major issue and protecting the customer against fraud will continue to be paramount for the entire payment and mobile industry. Milliken said: “This is why our relationship with Visa Europe is so exciting – Visa Europe recently acquired a 15% stake and this, coupled with our bank-grade technology platform provided by Monitise, puts us and our customers in very safe hands.”

 

Milliken concluded: “Robust, safe, smart technology that doesn't require huge upfront integration costs is now available to retailers and there is no limit to the possibilities in terms of increased sales conversion. With a holistic view of their mobile strategy, retailers have the opportunity to provide a seamless and instant shopping experience to customers therefore turning every communication into a sale. Not counting the increased customer loyalty, an instant mobile checkout provides a pathway to reclaiming the £2.4 billion of lost revenues.”