Speakers at the AIB Merchant Services (AIBMS) Conference held in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, over Easter mapped out the current commerce landscape and future trends, with a particular focus on developments in e-commerce and m-commerce led by consumers.
“Consumers, retailers and technology developers will see mobile payments becoming mainstream within the next four years,” said AIBMS general manager Nigel Motyer, opening the event, which was attended by 150 people, including merchants. “Consumers will insist on mobile loyalty rewards and coupons, making their mobile shopping decisions based on this.”
Jon Rutter, director of product management for mobile solutions at US payment processing company First Data Corporation, advised merchants not to be complacent when it comes to adopting new technology. “Consumers have an increasing amount of power and will take business elsewhere if dissatisfied,” he warned.
“You have to get ahead of that curve, get in touch with your consumer base. Over 80pc of the world population have a mobile device. One-third of all Facebook usage and one-half of all Twitter use is mobile,” he added, explaining that consumers want a seamless experience. With First Data being an AIBMS partner, Rutter unsurprisingly recommended that merchants develop partnerships to leverage others’ expertise in m-commerce in order to keep up with consumer demands.
Opportunities and challenges in m-commerce
Dr Philip O’Reilly of University College Cork’s Financial Services Innovation Centre highlighted how m-commerce represents a huge opportunity for merchants, particularly in terms of the ‘digital wallet’ and integrated electronic consumer payment services that allow for secure payments both online and offline.
“There is demand in the ecosystem for multiple payment technologies,” commented O’Reilly. “Contactless payments will, in the coming months, be incorporated into national policy. Yet, for consumers, the mobile payments ecosystem is still fragmented. There is a lack of standards and a lack of clearly communicated value propositions.”
Citing a survey by Millward Brown Lansdowne for Central Bank of Ireland last September, O’Reilly pointed out that most consumers are satisfied with the current range of payment options available, so new concepts need to have a clear consumer benefit to be attractive.
Michael Nolan, payments and operational excellence manager at Paddy Power, told the conference that one in two people join the betting giant via mobile applications. “Over five years, where traditional transactions remain stable, e-commerce has grown healthily and m-commerce has come out of nowhere to 39pc,” said Nolan. “We predict that this will increase to more than 50pc, but the value of other transactions is still growing.”