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EDITOR’S BLOG 15-09-15 Understanding m-payments

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Skeldon2014BWsmallHello and Happy Thursday! With World Telemedia Prague just four weeks away, news from analyst Skopos that consumers are not going to be using mobile payments this Christmas comes as something of a blow.

According to the analyst, as many as 82% of people say that they are not going to be using any form of mobile payment this Christmas to buy things. The reason? Most people don’t have the kit to do it.

Well that’s what they think anyway. In reality, what the people that Skopos quizzed said was that not having a smartwatch or a smartphone running Apple or Android was the main reason.

This means that the consensus is that you need to use Apple Pay or Samsung Pay to pay for things if you want to use mobile payments.

But this totally misses the point. There are so many ways to pay using mobile that even we here at Telemedia Towers get confused. But you don’t have to rely on these high-end (high publicity?) offerings to do it.

Of course, Charge to Mobile isn’t really an option in the kind of Christmas shopping that Skopos is talking about, but the study results point to a more telling issue. What it shows is that consumers really have no idea about mobile payments. What they do know about it is that you Apple do it. And most people don’t have an iPhone 6/6s so assume they can’t be part of the mobile payments revolution.

While it is easy for us in the industry to think that m-payments is here because the tech and the services are available, in the real world most people have little idea that they can do it – and do it without Apple.

What is needed is much broader education to showcase how mobile payments is already here. Many people in the UK will have bought a pizza from Domino’s using PayPal on their iPad. That is mobile payments. Even more people have used one click on Amazon to buy something on their mobile. That is mobile payments.

More tellingly, many people are using charge to mobile to engage with gaming, apps and many other digital purchases. This is all very much mobile payments.

The thing is is that people are already using it. No, they won’t be doing their Christmas shopping using it this year, but they will be by Christmas 2016. The key thing is for any business involved in mobile payments is to start using this time to get that message out there.

This is tricky with Charge to Mobile right now – what with all the MNO issue et al – but that perhaps makes it even more imperative. Big brands in sectors such as ticketing, travel, entertainment, gaming, gambling, apps, car parking and more all need to see that the technology is robust and well policed and that this is a good thing. Then we can start to see mobile payments – in all its forms – start to get a much better press for the next holiday season.

And this will all be debated at length at World Telemedia Prague 10-12 November. See you there.

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