News & Resources

Mobile payments spurred by ecommerce

Oct 25, 2013 Dave King

As a form of electronic payments, the ability to purchase mobile devices is not only gaining ground but also spurring experts to foretell that they are here to stay. In a recent report from BI Intelligence, analysts seek to show how mobile transactions are exploding and explain the underpinning reasons for this trend.

For one, the research revealed an often overlooked component of mobile transactions, i.e. using these devices as pathways to ecommerce sites. Rather than swiping a phone at a physical register, people are still using traditional debt and credit cards, yet they are purchasing these items on tablets and smartphones - not desktop computers.

In fact, the report predicted that in 2013, mobile transactions would make up 2 percent of credit and debit card volume in the United States and 4 percent worldwide. While this number seems low, it actually represents large growth. The study noted that mobile transactions have seen 118 percent annual average growth in the U.S. over the last five years.

One of the most effective retailers to deploy other forms of mobile payments is Starbucks. According to Mobile Commerce Daily, the coffee purveyor is experiencing nearly 100 percent year-over-year growth in the amount of money loaded onto their mobile app.

"Starbucks understands the importance of mobile from a global perspective, with Apps, mobile web and consumer engagement," Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, told the news source. "The way they approach mobile from a 360-degree strategy that they continue to refine does, indeed keep them as a front runner in mobile."

The industry still faces challenges, though, depending on the format. Near field communications, for example, has failed to take off primarily due to a reluctance by Apple to enable this ability on their smartphones.