Mobile commerce is taking the world by storm. Often referred to as the next generation of e-commerce, the simplest definition of m-commerce is the use of a mobile phone or tablet device to conduct transactions—everything from the purchase and sale of products, to online banking, and paying bills.
More than just a passing fad, mobile commerce – or m-commerce – is poised for exponential growth within the next few years as more and more people reach for their mobile devices to shop online, make payments, and transact.
In the decade since Apple first released its iPhone in 2007, the fast-paced adoption of the smartphone has changed nearly every aspect of our lives.
Today you can use your smartphone to stream TV shows, find directions, share where you are and what you are doing with friends and family, switch on the heating in your home, get instant updates on global news and events, and more.
As a result, the way we interact with one another, undertake everyday tasks, and consume services is changing fast. Offering the perfect combination of speed, simplicity and convenience for people on the go, it’s no surprise that m-commerce is experiencing rapid growth.
The question now is – what can brands do to get ahead?
The Continued Rise of M-Commerce
With mobile internet access now surpassing the use of desktop computers, the growing importance of m-commerce means businesses and brands cannot afford to ignore the growing consumer appetite for using mobile devices as more than just a communication tool.
Let’s take a look at just some of the impressive statistics behind the m-commerce revolution:
- With 5 billion smartphones in use across the world today, smartphones now account for two-thirds of global mobile connections
- In 2019, more than 63 percent of people accessed the Internet on a mobile device
- By 2021, m-commerce will account for 54 percent of all e-commerce sales
- 8 in 10 Americans are online shoppers and half of them are using a mobile device to shop
- The majority of traffic to websites is now generated by mobile devices
From hassle-free contactless payment at the checkout to e-tickets and boarding passes, mobile is increasingly becoming the transaction channel of choice for today’s consumers.
No longer just browsing for goods and services, they are now actively using their mobile devices to check utility bills, conduct online banking, pay bills, order items online, and book and pay for their cab journeys.
Allowing for greater levels of mobility, more payment gateways, and a wider than ever reach, m-commerce enables companies to initiate user-friendly interfaces that make it easy for consumers to interact with them in new and more convenient ways. This is good news for those organisations looking to streamline operations, generate additional value for customers, or enhance the customer experience even further. However, companies shouldn’t overlook the importance of handling customer payments securely and keeping their personal data safe.
Exploring the Opportunities
Today’s tech savvy consumers expect to encounter a mobile-optimised payment process that is secure, seamless and transparent. It’s a trend that has sweeping implications for brands and service providers.
Solutions like Semafone’s Cardprotect Relay+ can now make it possible for businesses to quickly generate secure digital payment links that can be delivered to customers through webchat, email, SMS, chatbots and other m-commerce channels.
By simply clicking the link, customers can enter their payment details, after which their payment card data and other sensitive personally identifiable information (PII) is routed direct to a payment service provider. This process ensures the digital payment channel stays out of scope for PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard). At the same time, the system relays a constant stream of real-time updates to the customer service representative handling the link, allowing them to facilitate the transaction if the customer becomes stuck, allowing for a more frictionless customer experience.
But serving up a streamlined remote payment experience for mobile users is just the start. Organisations also need to arm their representatives on the front line with the appropriate tools, so that they can handle face-to-face payments securely too.
Delivering a Customer-Centric Service on The Go
When it comes to simplifying in-person field transactions for mobile workforces, Cardprotect Relay+ is a game changer.
For example, field insurance adjusters can now quickly and easily disburse funds to customers in a secure and compliant manner using a payment link on their smartphone or tablet. The agent simply hands over their device to the customer, who then directly inputs their payment details.
Eliminating the need for specialised hardware or point of sale (POS) systems, Cardprotect Relay+ is a cutting-edge solution that makes it possible to disburse payments from customers on the spot, while ensuring staff are never exposed to card data. One that offers a fast and low-cost route for organisations to handle taking digital payments on mobile devices in a secure and compliant manner.
Gaining a Competitive Edge
Given the growing number of smartphone and tablet users, and their growing inclination to shop and transact using their mobile devices, it’s becoming increasingly vital for organisations to accommodate these users and their preferences. Ensuring that a website or mobile store is accessible on mobile devices is no longer enough; getting a business ready for m-commerce requires investment in the right tools that make it easy to accept card transactions without hassle and in a way that’s compliant with GDPR and the PCI DSS.
As mobile takes an ever greater role in customers’ lives, adjusting to new consumer habits will be a top priority. With more and more consumers now using their smartphone or tablet device to shop and transact, eliminating payment pain points while taking care of data security and the privacy of personal information will ensure brands are well positioned to ride the m-commerce wave.