Mar 20, 2013 Dave King
The use of mobile commerce tools has been steadily growing over the past several years, and many business leaders may not be surprised. While the practice is relatively new, it is convenient, quick and often harnesses technologies that consumers are becoming increasingly interested in, including social media. Among American buyers, one demographic that can be especially telling of a commerce solution's potential is how well it is catching on with mothers, who often play a crucial role in purchase decisions for the entire household. New studies suggest that mobile transaction tools are gaining speed in this key sector, and this popularity may be one major factor driving the success of electronic payments innovations forward
According to a recent survey of mobile application users conducted by mobile payments network Alt12, more than 70 percent of moms used a smartphone or tablet while shopping in 2012, with nearly 35 percent of respondents claiming that device use accounts for up to 40 percent of their shipping time, eMarketer reported.
Moms that use retailer-specific mobile commerce apps to make purchase decisions were also in the majority at 60 percent. These tools can often be used to find store-tailored deals and product information, and their popularity in the study suggests that this additional data may be becoming a crucial component of the transaction process. Many moms want to spend money wisely, and mobile apps can help them do so.
In addition, nine out of 10 mothers in the survey reported using their smartphones and tablets to shop more frequently than they did in 2011.
A recent study from comScore may be able to explain some of these increases. According to mobile and technology news source BGR, researchers found that more than 50 percent of mobile phone use is done on smartphones today, and that nearly 30 percent of those 55 or older now own tablets. These figures may include many parents. Overall, in households with a combined income of $100,000 or more per year, almost 40 percent use tablets.
Protecting families from fraud
Despite the convenience of mobile payments technologies for consumers and merchants alike, as with any payment tool, they have their drawbacks. As more individuals transmit their personal information via the internet to make purchases, there is an increased potential for data to be accessed by criminals intent on misusing the information for their own gain. In addition, as business owners deal less frequently in cash, they will find themselves charged with the protection of more patron data which, if lost, may not only affect the customers' consumer credit reports but the success of the company. Once an enterprise has experienced a data breach, it can be challenging to return to business as usual. Many times, consumers will be less willing to trust those vendors, and this can translate into shrinking profits.
By implementing comprehensive security solutions to support the use of mobile payments technologies, companies can stand out from their competition. Consumers vote with their dollars, and they want to put their business behind organizations that value their quality of life beyond the point of sale. A great track record of avoiding data breaches is one way to prove to the public that they are dedicated to this end. Because of this, it is absolutely crucial that businesses maintain compliance with industry regulations, but also take steps to deploy emerging solutions that could offer better protection. Executives can also help guard against internal fraud by instituting strict data access policies and performing background checks on potential employees. In the end, the safety of patrons' consumer credit data is a company owner's responsibility once that information is in their hands, and it should be guarded at all costs.