News about mobile payments usually focuses on the opportunity of in-store payments using mobile phones at the POS. But recent Fiserv Inc. research suggests financial institutions (FIs) should focus on the more immediate and lucrative money transfer realm that involves person-to-person (P2P) and person-to-business (P2B) payments.
In an April 2014 white paper titled The Four Pillars of Mobile Payments – Immediate Opportunities, the transaction processor for FIs stated the four building blocks of an m-banking/payments strategy are paying:
Fiserv's 2013 consumer trends survey found that 30 million U.S. households use mobile banking services, up 22 percent from 2012. The most popular m-banking/payments uses are viewing account balances, transferring funds and viewing monthly statements. Thus, service providers should center on facilitating these types of activities first. Fiserv stated, "By focusing on the three pillars of mobile payments that consumers are already using – paying self, paying others and paying billers – until mobile proximity payments mature, banks and credit unions will create immediate value by attracting, retaining and strengthening the loyalty and profitability of key consumer segments that are predisposed to the mobile channel, including Gen Y."
The m-payments game plan begins with companies making strategic investments into the first three pillars. Fiserv said mobile solutions should allow consumers to transfer money to internally- and externally-held accounts, make P2P transactions, and facilitate P2B payments via mobile remote deposit capture technology.
Then, enterprises should build support for loyalty and rewards programs to lay the groundwork for consumers' adoption of mobile wallets and proximity payments. "This will increase the likelihood of consumers seamlessly transitioning from mobile banking to mobile proximity payments," Fiserv said.
The processor noted that FIs are by far the most trusted financial service providers when it comes to the mobile realm, citing Ovum research that said FIs are trusted by 43 percent of consumers, compared with 13 percent for credit card issuers, 9 percent for online payment providers and 6 percent for mobile operators. Therefore, FIs can leverage their existing relationships with consumers to gain a foothold into m-payments today and into the future.
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