Convenience, Enablement, and Advanced Functionality

February 13, 2012

The value of mobile payments boils down to three key elements for consumers:
convenience, enablement, and advanced functionality.

Convenience

Above all else, convenience is key. By giving consumers an exceedingly simple method of charging goods and services using their mobile number, carrier billing increases the convenience of the purchasingprocess. Friction decreases conversion and frequently users abandon their carts due to the hassles and roadblocks of other payment methods.

Enablement

The penetration of mobile phones (pre and post paid) relative to that of credit and debit cards has a profound impact on consumer behavior across the globe. If a consumer lives in a country where the population is largely unbanked, but have access to a mobile device, a banked solution for many purchases may not be necessary:

  • All that is needed is a mobile phone, which five billion people globally alreadyhave.
  • You do not need to be one of the comparatively smaller group of two billion people who owns a credit card.
  • You do not need a bank account, a line of credit, a debit card, or cash.

In short, mobile payments give credit card-like purchasing convenience to anyone with a mobile phone.

Advanced Functionality

This is where the true potential of mobile payments is unlocked. As Ron Hirson, President and Co-Founder of Boku, pointed out in a guest post on VentureBeat, performing a transaction via a NFC enabled smartphone housing a processor, a world of apps, a GPS unit, all connected to the internet, gives the consumer access to a wealth of advanced functionality completely unmatched by either cash or credit transactions.

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