I’m sure there’ll be plenty of panel discussions about when mobile payments will be mainstream. There will also be lots of debate over who will control mobile payments. Carriers, bankers, payment technology companies and others have been bickering over mobile payments for nearly a decade now – and there are few mainstream results.
I think we have forgotten the customer.
If we make shopping easier with mobile payments, it’ll eventually happen and lots of players in the ecosystem will make money.
Tapping a phone isn’t much easier than swiping a card. In the beginning customers will still have to carry their wallet everywhere. I think they will be underwhelmed.
Scanning a barcode is easier to implement, but it’s harder for both the customer and the cashier. However, it does work well in certain circumstances. The Starbucks application is a great example. It’s something people do habitually, and they don’t have to carry their Starbucks card. They can’t ditch their wallet, but they do make it one card thinner - and they thank Starbucks for it.
Look at the new T.G.I.Friday’s application. It lets you pay your bill and leave when you’re ready. There’s no reason to wait for your server to find his way back to you. Just pay and leave. That makes the dining experience much better and differentiates T.G.I.Fridays from every other restaurant chain on the planet.
So this is my point: Find a way to improve the customer experience incrementally. The money and glory will follow.