Mobile Payments: Maturing Markets Demand More Utility

by Karen Augustine 0

From Mercator Advisory Group’s recent CustomerMonitor Seriesreport on mobile payments,Consumers and Mobile Payments- Make it Useful, it is clear to me from our researchthat mobile markets are maturing.

It is astonishing how fast mobile technology is moving forward andpenetration with consumers is rising at lightning speeds. As ofJune 2012, smartphone penetration grew 66% from the previous 12months, according to Mercator research. Our data suggests nearlyhalf of United States adults now have smartphones.

Smartphone use is soaring in all age categories, especially youngadults with 65% in the survey sample. Even 2 in 5 middle-agedconsumers (35 to 64 year olds) and 1 in 5 seniors surveyed reportowning a smartphone. Incidentally, 25% of the survey sample saysthey own a tablet compared with 5% tablet ownership in 2011.Holiday shopping went tech last year.

Now that smartphones and other mobile devices are more common,consumers are doing more on those devices. They are thinking morecritically about mobile payments and how and when they get purchaseor payment information, including receipts, coupons and evenfinancial related alerts. While consumers are very excited aboutthe concept of mobile payments, they definitely are demanding moreorganization when it comes to payments, coupons, receipts and afeedback loop that often includes financial alerts.

But, timing is everything – and, it has to be useful. Just gettingcoupons or discounts from preferred merchants by e-mail is nolonger that interesting to consumers. Half of consumers areinterested in having their coupons stored in a coupon “wallet” thatautomatically presents the coupon for redemption when making anin-store purchase. But, far fewer consumers this year would like toreceive coupons on their phone from the merchants they select forredemption. Those consumers would prefer to receive electroniccoupons automatically when they are near or in a store based ontheir physical location and personal preferences.

No one wants duplicates or any extra data cluttering their devices.Consumers want data that’s useful at the time they need it. In lieuof any organized “coupon wallet”, send me the coupons for myfavorite stores when I’m in the shopping mall ready to buyit.