Over the weekend, I read most of a 40-page report, “Mobile Payments in the United States at Retail Point of Sale: Current Market and Future Prospects“, published in 2010 by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. It reveals why the U.S. has greater inhibitors to widespread adoption of mobile commerce compared with countries like Japan (#1) and Australia. Several factors include: Our current use of debit/credit cards is adequate at the point of sale, and a study found most consumers do not value a marginal increase in transaction speed that would come from using mobile devices. Next, we have a more diverse infrastructure of banks, mobile carriers, and phone manufacturers than other countries. Getting them all to line up behind a standard that levels the playing field, requires up-front investment is slow. All will want a piece of the pie. Then, manufacturers don’t want to add a $15 computer chip to their phones if consumers aren’t demanding mobile commerce and merchants are not going to re-fit their existing POS terminal unless consumers start demanding mobile payments. Proprietary solutions like BlinkPay faltered because getting a critical mass of merchants signed up is labor intensive and slow. Consumers often don’t know their phones can do mobile commerce. The report explains these factors and more in detail and concludes that the most viable application for widespread adoption of mobile commerce in the U.S. in the near term is in mass transportation ticketing.
The State of Mobile CommerceApril 2nd, 2012 | Posted in Mobile Marketing & Commerce
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