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Removing omnichannel commerce friction will spur mobile payments growth: Forrester

NEW YORK – A Forrester Research analyst at Mobile Marketer’s Mobile FirstLook: Strategy 2014 conference said mobile payments in the United States will grow more slowly than anticipated through 2018, with interest continuing to increase about 5 percent per year.

According to Denée Carrington, lead mobile payments and digital wallet analyst at Forrester Research, Cambridge, MA, mobile payments are here to stay and there is opportunity for mobile payments in the offline space. That is why mobile payments are in the spotlight.

“We do expect to see accelerated growth in both consumer adoption and merchant acceptance,” Ms. Carrington said. “The reason for that is wallet providers are really focused on delivering value to merchants and consumers, [and also] focused around removing friction out of the commerce experience – online, in-store and through their mobile devices.”

Ms. Carrington addressed the future of omnichannel and commerce during her presentation, “How In-Store and On-Device Mobile Payments May Influence Multichannel Shopping.”

Denée Carrington

Mobile proximity
Last October, Forrester Research announced expectations that mobile payments would hit $90 billion by 2017 (see story).

More mobile wallets are expected to be introduced by banks, merchants, platform providers and third-party wallets, such as PayPal, according to Ms. Carrington.

In particular, U.S. mobile payments’ growth will accelerate and be driven by proximity. For example, if a mobile-wallet user is in a store that offers the service, he or she will very likely use it.

Mobile has transformed existing payment categories, such as credit cards, and created new ones including mobile payments, mobile card acceptance, mobile Web and in-app payments.

In the age of the consumer, the way to differentiate from others and stay competitive is to develop relationships with consumers and nurture those relationships, according to Ms. Carrington.

“In order to do that, you must be completely customer obsessed, focused on your customer and really understand what they want and how they want to engage and interact with you,” she said.

Consumers are in control, according to Ms. Carrington.

“They still want to have access in terms of the applications,” she said. “Mobile is the bridge between our physical and digital world [and] is really creating interactions.”

“Our customers are going through a mobile mind shift.”

Listening and learning

Mobile mind shift
Forrester’s research finds that 40 percent of consumers use mobile devices in the U.S.

“They are open to being engaged, but they still want to have control,” Ms. Carrington said.

Payments have evolved from fixed POS to ecommerce to mcommerce.

Mobile is creating payment shifts.

Consumers now pay their bills via mobile devices. Mobile wallets underlie that process.

Thirty-two percent of consumers who are interested in using in-store mobile payments spend more than $500 online, according to Ms. Carrington

Forrester Research will release its updated U.S. mobile payments forecast within the next few weeks.

“Our forecast for 2013 through 2018 isn’t dramatically different than [last year’s], but we still will see less than a hockey stick [growth curve], a little slower growth than anticipated,” Ms. Carrington said.

Mobile wallet options are expected to continue to increase. More value-added services will be made available.

Vendors will find ways to increase incentives for merchants to accept mobile wallets.

Mutually beneficial partnerships will form around mobile wallets and more loyalty programs will be linked to mobile wallets.

Emerging technologies will enable new engagement platforms and “Uber-like” payment experiences, according to Ms. Carrington.

“Digital wallets are poised to transform the purchase journey for consumers,” Ms. Carrington said.

Final Take
Kari Jensen is staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York