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The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 08, 2014 • Issue 14:12:01

The Mobile Buzz:
Mobile global acceptance

By 2019, mobile payment acceptance across the globe is expected to surge as use of services such as banking, money transfer, and purchase of goods and services migrates from desktop PCs to mobile devices, and first-time e-commerce shoppers adopt smartphone and tablet devices in increasing numbers.

In Mobile Commerce Markets: Key Sector Strategies, Opportunities & Forecasts, 2014-2019, U.K.-based Juniper Research Ltd. predicted 400 million new users will join the ranks of mobile device users within the next three years. Also, more than 2 billion mobile phone and tablet users are expected to execute some form of mobile commerce transaction by the end of 2017. This is up from 1.6 billion in 2014.

The report contains more than 1,000 data points, with 40 charts and tables covering key mobile commerce metrics divided into eight global regions. Also included is statistical data on the projected number of mobile users, transaction volumes and values for each region.

According to the report, in a number of developed markets, mobile devices will account for more than half of online transactions by 2019. The report also contains strategic assessments of seven primary mobile commerce segments: remote payment for digital and physical goods, ticketing, coupons, near field communication (NFC) transactions, money transfers, banking and gambling.

Behind the push to mobilize

While contactless payments have been slow to gain traction outside Japan and South Korea, the recent introduction of Apple Pay could play a significant role in driving NFC payment acceptance across a broader geographic spectrum, according to Juniper.

The report also recognized the opportunity for mobile devices to engage consumers in emerging markets. Via mobile wallets, many consumers will gain financial inclusion for the first time. Additional services, from savings accounts to micro-insurance, will soon become accessible to new mobile device users in emerging markets, the report noted.

Social marks the spot

Juniper researchers also projected that social networks will help accelerate mobile commerce. Strategies for remote and POS commerce outlined in the report indicate how mobile technology will increasingly be used by brands and retailers to bridge digital and physical assets.

"Brands and retailers should certainly seek to integrate their offerings with players such as Facebook and FourSquare," stated Dr. Windsor Holden, author of the report. "Integration offers reach, allied to the potential to target specific user demographics."

The report recommended integrating operator billing with websites to monetize digital content across a wider user base. Until recently, the number of mobile digital content purchasers in developing markets has been marginal. "The value of customers is increasing markedly as they transition from ringtone purchase to rich media content typically monetized through in-app purchases," the report stated.

Canada takes early lead

Signs that mobile commerce is gaining a foothold in developed markets are evident in Canada. According to Visa Canada's quarterly Digital Commerce Index, 68 percent of smartphone users in that market are familiar with NFC or quick response (QR) codes; 65 percent expect to make NFC or QR payments during the next six months.

Twenty-six percent of mobile device owners in Canada reported using their devices within the past three months to make online purchases. Leading categories for purchases Canadians made using mobile devices were music, movies and video games; event tickets; apparel and accessories; books and magazines; toys and hobbies; and travel transactions.

"Canada is a world leader in mobile NFC and QR payments," said Derek Colfer, Head of Innovation and Technology for Visa Canada. He believes increased consumer education and awareness will cause more Canadians to embrace mobile commerce in the future.

However, as mobile commerce progresses in developed and emerging markets, the biggest concern among consumers, other than ease of use, is security. This could impede adoption, a claim substantiated by Visa Canada.

The current Visa Canada Digital Commerce Index revealed that 55 percent of Canadian mobile users trust the security on their smartphones for mobile payments, compared with 65 percent who trust the security on their PCs for executing payments. Perhaps the greatest challenge ahead in mobile and electronic commerce will be the concerted effort required to ensure data is secure in any environment, regardless of channel. end of article

The Green Sheet Inc. is now a proud affiliate of Bankcard Life, a premier community that provides industry-leading training and resources for payment professionals. Click here for more information.

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