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EDITOR’S BLOG 19-06-15 Conventional wisdom be damned

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Hello and Happy Friday! Conventional wisdom suggests that consumers aren’t going to use currently online payment mechanics over mobile because they don’t want the faff of entering long streams of card numbers, nor do they want to sign up to retailers’ own payment tools for future use.

And I am sure that, given a choice, they don’t want to do that. But such is the convenience of paying by mobile – especially while its in your hand – that many people are actually doing just that: they are faffing about with entering numbers and signing up to have accounts to make payments quick and easy.

So finds the latest research by MEF at least, which had buried within its headlines, the factoids that In the US, 29% have inputted debit or credit card information into their device to make a payment versus the global average of 18%. In the UK, 15% of shoppers have used a retailer’s online payment service – the global average is 9%.

That means that in the US nearly a third of consumers have entered their details, despite the fiddle keyboard and the global average for this thing that no one wants to do is actually a fifth of all shoppers. Stunning.

Compare that to the NFC and mobile wallets, where a third of people haven’t even heard of them.

So what does this mean? Well, clearly – and as I have said many times before – people want mobile payments: its so easy and convenient that its really a no brainer. The other thing it shows is that even when its relatively hard to make it work with non-optimised solutions, quite a lot of people still do it.

It also shows that we really need to stop getting hung up on NFC – Apple Pay will do the PR work on that and probably corner the market.

But what it also tells us is that there is a good chance that, were mobile payments to be made simple – and I mean really one click super-simple, not firing up this or that app and doing this or that wafty arm manoeuvre – then its highly likely that even more people would use them.

Now, Apple Pay will probably showcase how easy it is to pay online and in stores with a mobile if you have an iTunes/Apple Pay account, but there is always going to be space for charge to mobile in there too. It is so simple to use and has a pedigree of being used for micropayments – which is where you are going to see it taking flight.

The myths about how much it costs merchants and the idea that it is run by scamsters is patently not true any more and this story needs to be told. PPP and AIME are working on publishing some interesting Mythbusters on this, that we could all do with pushing out there to the merchant world and this can only help promote this easy to use mobile payment tech.

Conventional wisdom – especially in the mobile industry – is something never to be trusted. The way ‘experts’ view ‘consumers’ is skewed: real people do really odd things and its never easy to predict…. Look at click and collect: that is so successful, yet really shouldn’t work as it’s the worst of both worlds.

The same goes for payments, especially on mobile. Trying to understand what consumers will and won’t do is pointless. The best you can do is create a really easy to use product that they understand and have confidence in (no, it doesn’t need a cool brand or Kevin Bacon), it just needs to work. Conventional wisdom be damned.

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