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MasterCard-approved mobile payment sticker debuts – News briefs

CPI Card Group and Inside Contactless have introduced a MasterCard-approved payment tag that paves the way for mobile commerce adoption by enabling any mobile device to be used to make payments anywhere using the worldwide contactless MasterCard PayPass standard.

Containing all the functionality of a traditional MasterCard PayPass credit, debit or prepaid debit card, the new sticker is based on Inside’s MicroPass 4003 contactless payment processor and manufactured and pre-personalized by CPI Card Group.

CPI has already established a scalable operational process for producing these payment stickers using prelams delivered from Inside.

The stickers are being delivered from CPI already pre-cut from ID1 card devices and pre-personalized to allow for personalization and fulfillment using traditional card processing equipment.

The companies claim to have executed extensive accredited laboratory testing with all major mobile handsets.

A new adhesive backing adheres to mobile phones and allows the sticker to be removed and reapplied multiple times without losing its grip.

A shielding design protects the chip and antenna inside the sticker from interference that might be caused by a mobile phone’s signals and metallic materials.

Magento helps merchants create mobile-commerce apps
Magento Inc., a global ecommerce technology service provider, has unveiled Magento Mobile, a new product that addresses the growing need for merchants to reach consumers through mobile devices.

The company helps merchants create mobile-commerce applications for iPhone, iPad and Android phones.

Magento Mobile includes integration with the company’s ecommerce platform, used by more than 60,000 merchants around the world, and uses PayPal’s mobile payments library to power the checkout experience from a mobile device.

Magento mobile solves the three main problems for retailers looking to build an effective mobile-commerce strategy: integration with existing systems, portability to multiple mobile platforms and support for payments.

Integrating mobile commerce as another channel for sales
A big part of converting browsers to buyers is making Web stores smartphone-friendly.

As the use of smartphones enters a period of explosive growth, it has never been more important for Web stores to use new technology and targeted strategies to accommodate mobile devices.

According to Canalys, which analyzes market data for tech companies worldwide, smartphone shipments in North America will exceed 65 million units in 2010, a jump of 37 percent from the 47 million sold in 2009.

Nielsen projects that smartphones will be used by 150 million people in the U.S. alone by mid 2011, which is half of the country’s mobile phone market.

Globally, the number of mobile phone subscribers will reach 4.6 billion this year, says U.N. Telecommunications Agency. And they project that broadband subscriptions worldwide will exceed a billion by the beginning of 2011.

Along with smartphones, there are other players in the game.

Apple’s iPad, the tablet computer that created a huge buzz even before it came to market on April 3, is the newest. It topped 600,000 in sales the first week, according to several news sources.

And netbooks continue to be popular, too, despite a recent slight from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who referred to them as “cheap laptops” that “aren’t better than anything.”

A recent article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek pegged netbook sales for the first quarter of 2010 at 4.8 million units.

Both the iPad and netbooks are available with wireless Internet built in, so users can be online anywhere. That means they can visit Web stores anywhere and buy anywhere.

When you factor in all of these advances in information-gathering technology, one thing becomes abundantly clear: Mobile shopping is here to stay, and it will account for a growing share of retail sales with each passing year.

Given the rapidly shifting landscape, Web store owners have to adjust or risk losing sales.

Zoovy, a company that helps online merchants market their products and services, addresses this issue by fitting ecommerce clients with templates that modify the appearance of their site to suit whatever type of device a shopper is using.

If potential customers are browsing on a regular computer, Zoovy technology delivers the fully featured store.
But if they are browsing on a mobile phone, the format will be optimized for a more streamlined presentation.

In the past, many ecommerce businesses had to operate two Web stores, one to serve standard computers and another to serve the mobile market. That forced owners to synchronize information from separate sources.

Using the Zoovy, a Web store can e run a single site and increase sales by dynamically reconfiguring content for delivery to a broad audience, both mobile and standard.