Mobile Payments Throughout the Course of a Day

There’s a full cycle in mobile commerce.

Any regular reader of this column knows I’ve written a lot about how mobile payments are only  one step during Mobile Shopping Life Cycle.

A major mobile payment provider also is looking at mobile purchasing as more of a holistic process rather than only a payment transaction.

Mung Ki Woo, executive vice president mobile industry alliances at MasterCard, laid out the company’s vision at the OMMA Mobile at Advertising Week conference this week.

Interestingly, the model involves logical demographics and takes into account the many potential transactions that may occur in the course of a day.

In Woo’s scenario, a woman gets a new smartphone and downloads a banking and payment app.

The next morning, her son needs some cash for school, so she transfers it phone to phone.



Shortly thereafter, she’s at a coffee shop and pays by phone. The idea here is using mobile as a cash replacement, especially for small purchases.

This would be a major behavioral change, already seen in some countries, though Woo was focusing on the U.S. market in his presentation.

Based on a previous purchase, the woman consumer receives a coupon and at around noon receives a message that her son just used his mobile cash for lunch at school.

At lunchtime, the consumer taps her phone at checkout at the local deli mobile point of sale and later that evening she uses her phone for a price check to validate that she’s getting the best deal on a particular product.

She finds a better deal online and that’s where she makes the buy, from her phone, of course. That is, just after she redeems an offer against the purchase.

Later that evening, at dinner, she transfers funds to a friend via mobile to pay for dinner.

After a purchase, the consumer shares details on what they bought via social media, such as Foursquare and Twitter, in Woo’s vision.

The good news is that even though this is MasterCard, a payment processing company, the high emphasis is not on the mobile payment part.

Rather, the focus is on integrating how little things, like paying for a cup of coffee or transferring money to a family member, also play a role in the future of mobile currency movement. It is beyond the one-step payment part.

And that is more in line with what mobile commerce is all about.

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