Commentary

With Mobile Payment, DO Blossoms

A new report from Juniper Research forecasts big increases in electronic payments via mobile devices -- and that's good news above all for the burgeoning digital out-of-home medium, which stands to be the prime beneficiary of the accompanying increase in place-based marketing.

The Juniper Research white paper -- titled "Checkout the Mobile Payment Opportunity!" (get it?) -- is actually an extract from a longer report called "Mobile Payments for Digital & Physical Goods." After reviewing the various established and emerging technologies for enabling payments, including premium SMS codes and "contact-less" virtual credit cards in phones, the report goes on to explore different applications, including point-of-sale transactions. Transactions can also include "remote physical" purchases -- where the consumer uses the mobile device to pay for a physical product that isn't actually right there in front of them, for later delivery -- and "remote digital" purchases of virtual goods. Smartphone apps now allow marketers to incorporate e-commerce links in the same way they do on the Web.

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Worldwide, Juniper predicts that over 2.5 billion people will use mobile devices to make an electronic payment for digital goods in 2014 -- an increase of over 50% from 2010. Remote payment for physical goods will also see big increases, albeit somewhat more modest than for digital goods.

DO networks stand to benefit from both point-of-sale and remote physical purchases, both as an advertising and marketing platform and as a part of the transaction itself. Eye-catching interactive displays can be a key part of in-store promotions, or the centerpiece of a standalone sales kiosk in a public space like the mall. The displays can be co-located with equipment to handle mobile transactions, if consumers are using their phone as a "mobile wallet." If payments are handled via their cellular service, the DO display can receive instantaneous instructions from the marketer to show a transaction-related message (for example, thanking the buyer and informing them of promotions or special offers); however this depends on the speed of the transaction and the marketers' ability to quickly "close the loop" with a return message to the consumer at that display.

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