Changing Trends in E-Commerce Through Mobile Payments : The cash mode of payment was the preferred mode of payment for products and services until the last 19th century. But with the increasing penetration of the internet as also of mobile phones, the use of mobiles for making payments has increased by leaps and bounds. Today, we live in an era where smart phones and mobile devices have become a necessity than a status symbol. This ubiquitous smart phone although looks innocuous can perform many important functions for us including making our utility payments, paying for products and services we have purchased in retail stores, etc.
Technically, mobile payments include the following things:
- Online payments using the internet on your mobile device – which is similar to e-commerce and often also termed as m-commerce.
- In-app payments using the cell phone, where Apple makes a lot of money when we conduct such transactions
- NFC enabled mobile devices for seamless payments in the retail sector
- Payments made using the telephone company-where the payment is credited to the mobile bill from the service provider
- Payments through SMS services
- Payments made using a mobile virtual terminal, which involves making card payments using the mobile platform instead of the traditional hardware terminal
Although all of the above modes of payment may not be equally well-known, there are some which are known and used world over. In countries like Ireland, NFC enabled mode of payments are slowly becoming a reality, thanks to the growth in NFC enabled mobile devices. Once the requisite hardware is set up in all the retail stores, this mode of payment will be very common in the country. There are many applications like Apple’s Passbook iOS6 for the iPhone and the iPad. These applications are enhancing our ability to be connected all the time and doing more with the cell phone.
Research has shown that only 25% of people make purchases using the mobile platform, while an astounding 60% admit that they have purchased online. To compare with this, a staggering 87% conceded to conducting purchasing transactions through a store. The reason for these figures is that customers find it very easy to get their credit card swiped using a credit card payment terminal at a real store rather than exchanging their credit card details either online or through their cell phones. But, it will not be long before technology becomes increasingly mobile and convenient and more trustworthy and people shift to the mobile mode of payments.
Product and service companies in Europe are adding the mobile mode of payment to their array of payment gateways, as more and more young people prefer the convenience of the internet to make payments for their purchases. Under such circumstances, the cell phone or mobile is the most preferred mode of payment as it is handy and ready to use, as compared to the online mode through laptops or desktops, which require a machine for enabling e-commerce transactions. To give a fillip to mobile payments, the protectors of the environment are also lobbying for this payment method to be accepted by merchants and manufacturers worldwide.