Posted by : Diana Middlebrook
The complex world of mobile eCommerce
Mobile eCommerce has immensely grown in popularity. However, not everyone is totally sold on the idea of having to pay for things with the help of their mobile devices. The idea behind the process is pretty simple: Mobile applications serve as facilitators of mobile transactions thus allowing people to make online purchases while shopping with their tablets or smartphones. However, under this glazed surface, the industry is far from being simple. This is largely owing to the fact that the standards of the mobile commerce industry are rapidly changing. Also, there is the omnipresent threat of exploitation presented by the malicious groups who are so intent on getting hold of the financial information of the consumers.
Is mobile payment a safe option?
Since mobile commerce is not seemingly as straightforward as we are made to believe, many individuals often wonder whether mobile payments are actually worthwhile or something bordering a passing novelty. Much of this uncertainty can be put down to the technology that supports mobile payments. Cloud computing and NFC technology are the structures in use at present for the mobile payments industry which finds itself in the middle of a format war. The cloud-based and NFC-based services are fighting it out with one another for the support of businesses and customers alike.
Cloud-based or NFC Technology?
As far as the format war is concerned, it seems as if the cloud technology so far has the upper hand. The main drawback of its compatriot is that it is available only on NFC-enabled mobile devices. As a result, mobile eCommerce services such as mobile wallet that are reliant on NFC can only be made use of on those devices that are embedded with the relevant chip. No such limitations exist with the cloud-based systems leading to their increased prominence in the mobile payments industry.
With little concern for anything else, the big names are entering the fray
Now going beyond the format war, there are a number of other issues that continue adding to the complexity of the mobile payments industry. The big guns are muscling their way into the mobile scene in the hope of taking advantage of the growing popularity created by mobile payments. Google, Verizon Wireless and AT&T are some of the big names who have introduced mobile wallets in the market. It is not the fact that these companies are entering into the market that is so much a problem; rather it is their desire to rush into battle with little concern for anything else other than exposure that is giving the mobile commerce industry some serious headaches.
When Google led the way with an ambitious launch of their Wallet service, it quickly fell prey to a number of security issues. This made the platform hugely unpopular among the users. It was making use of the NFC-technology at that time and users started considering the same to be faulty from a security perspective. The company has moved on from the use of NFC ever since and has also taken steps to resolve a number of issues that were prevalent in the initial launch of their wallet. However, the damage that was caused by the hasty launch of their wallet services has only set Google back considerably as far as their mobile commerce interests are concerned.
A seemingly eternal wait
Another major issue facing mobile payments and mobile commerce in general is the long enduring wait that people are subjected to before these services are made available to them. Many of the current popular services were released only a few months ago while some of the much-anticipated ones may not even show up for another half-a-decade or so. While large companies take their time in developing comprehensive platforms, the smaller organisations are much more intent on pumping out new platforms at a rapid pace. This has led to a saturation of the market while little has been done to overcome the actual problems that the mobile commerce industry is faced with at the moment.
Mobile commerce is not something that you can solve very easily. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for mobile devices as far as engaging consumers or enticing them to pay for products through tablets or smartphones is concerned. As is the case with most things, if you are seeking success in this field you may be required to find an effective balance between the problems that can and cannot be solved.