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Self-service options may boost mobile payment market

Aug 28, 2013 Dave King

Despite the claim made by many industry insiders that mobile payments are set to dominate the transaction market, the technology has been adopted by very few consumers and retailers. For a number of reasons, businesses and purchasers have hesitated to integrate such services into their payment strategies.

One of the biggest challenges the market has faced is the sheer volume of offerings. Bloomberg recently reported that the number of mobile payment startups is making for a crowded sector, which has led to a sort of cannibalization of the industry. Venture capitalists are hesitant to invest in mobile payment enterprises because it's simply too risky, given the number of competitors, the source indicated.

Also, the numerous mobile transaction choices that vendors can choose from means that it's unlikely that enough consumers use a given portal to make investing in the technology worthwhile. If only a handful of customers will use a service, it's not viable for small businesses to integrate the technology into their payment systems.

Bloomberg did note that many young mobile payment enterprises are coming up with innovative tools to make their services more attractive to consumers. However, because they are often exposed to very few clients, they have been largely unsuccessful to date. Instead, larger payment enterprises such as eBay and Google have been taking over the sector.

Self-service may be the future
Despite the developments in the industry, not all is lost for mobile payment startups. However, they need to be willing to adapt to the market and most importantly, give consumers what they want. Based on a new study, that may be something as simple as letting them do work themselves.

A recent Zendesk survey found that 75 percent of consumers believe self-service tools are a great way to address problems or issues they may encounter while using a product. Additionally, 67 percent indicated that they prefer using a self-service portal instead of speaking directly to an enterprise representative.

In the modern tech world, purchasers want to have the ability to do more on their own. Mobile payment portals that include unique services that allow users to complete more functions by themselves may help transaction companies increase business. Perhaps a feature that allows them to record transaction histories on their smartphones or some other seemingly simple, yet useful tool can be the difference between success and failure for a mobile payment startup.