When it comes to mobile payments, it may come down to the haves and the don't wants. In a new nationwide snapshot, almost a quarter (22%) of consumers say they have apps for mobile payments while the majority (61%) not only don't have any but say it makes no difference.
Shopping apps still don't appear to be main stream in terms of usage. Retailers regularly tell me that most of their mobile commerce is coming through their mobile websites rather than their app. A new, wide ranging, nationwide study now confirms that high app shopping activity is not yet happening.
Some commerce enabling apps are becoming more useful. Driving home from a family holiday gathering last year, my family kept asking me what that sound was that the phone in my pocket made periodically. Each time we passed a mall or shopping center, that familiar ka-ching was triggered by my RetailMeNot app.
Several new studies paint an evolving picture of the privacy-security value proposition. Sentiments about mobile payments have improved to 74% of those adopting them from 58% a year earlier, according to a study by Prime Research for MasterCard.
Mobile commerce is not always easy to see. I regularly receive notes after writing about this or that mobile shopping survey with readers not necessarily agreeing with the results since they haven't personally witnessed the same thing when they're in a store, for example.
Sometimes using mobile to sell can be a lengthy ordeal focused less on the sale and more on the shopping process itself. In two separate and unrelated presentations at MediaPost's OMMA at SXSW conference this past weekend, this became somewhat apparent.
While mobile payments around the world may still be just getting off the ground in many cases, some seem anxious for them to get under way. During a session during the first day of the two-day OMMA at SXSW conference, one speaker strongly suggested it was time for mobile payments to be moved along, as well as other in-store mobile shopping activity.
Well it's time for the annual SXSW interactive confab in Austin, Texas, so we'll be on the lookout here for any new innovations around mobile commerce. Last year, mobile payment provider LevelUp was introduced at every concession stand inside the massive Austin Convention Center, easily signing up attendees as they waited in line. As I walked through the concession areas during registration day today, there we no early indications that mobile payments would be prominent, at least so far.
Every day it becomes clearer that the smartphone is becoming the hub of commerce. When American Express recently unveiled its new EveryDay credit card targeted at moms on the move, it touted the idea of earning points each time the card is used. The new credit card is integrated with the AmEx smartphone app so that consumers can use their phones to monitor the status of their points.
It's well known in mobile commerce circles that smartphone technology tracking is light years ahead of where it was just a few years ago. At the most rudimentary level, consumers can be tracked as they drive or walk by a store. When in a store, their movements and traffic patterns can be mapped and analyzed.