Mobile Payments to Reach $1 Trillion in Few Years

Smartphones have been changing the way people communicate for the past decade. They’ve become so integral to our world I even wrote a piece about what they can teach us about business. When they first became popular, RIM’s Blackberry was the phone that transformed the way we interact with technology. For the first time, we had email, other tools, and a phone in the palm of our hand.

Fast-forward to today and there are multiple smartphone companies selling us dozens of different phones. Now we have full internet access in the palm of our hand, and it’s fast. Heck, smart phones today are as powerful or more powerful than the laptops we used a few years ago. Cell phone makers aren’t showing any signs of slowing development either.

The combination of smartphones, apps like Foursquare, and access to social media like Facebook and Twitter has changed the way we communicate and the way consumers shop. Agencies all over the country have been utilizing these outlets to help build companies’ brands and market their goods. They might want to pay even more attention to the mobile market after today’s news.

Mobile Purchase to Play a Big Role in the Future

According to Seth Fiegerman at Mashable, “consumers and businesses worldwide will make more than $1 trillion in purchases from mobile devices by 2017.” 2017 isn’t far off. Your agency should start taking steps to take advantage of this boom in mobile payments.

More importantly, Seth notes that the “vast majority of these payments will come from mobile commerce” like a business’ mobile website. If demand for mobile access and mobile payments increases, there is potential for much more to be spent, as the $1 trillion mark is only 2.5% of the potential that “could be processed through mobile devices” in the next few years.

What Does This Mean for You?

It doesn’t necessarily change the game when it comes to your clients, but it is important to pay attention to mobile developments. Not having a way to interact with mobile consumers will increasingly be unacceptable as we use our smartphones more and more. But there are opportunities as mobile payments increase.

Finextra says that, in regards to financial institutions, these changes can be “an opportunity to tap the information they possess on their customers’ shopping habits and demographic characteristics.” Oddly enough, this can apply to your clients as well.

Adopting mobile payments can be a way to bring more business into a company. Being capable of taking payments this way is just another chance to expand brand presence. More and more people are going to be interacting commercially with their mobile phones; being aware of that fact is important and consumers will recognize early adopters. Targeted marketing or even mobile-only discounts can be introduced to bring someone from a company’s mobile site, Twitter feed, or G+/Facebook feed to a mobile storefront. There are tons of possibilities and opportunities to be had.

Looking Forward

We still have many years before mobile wallets and mobile commerce gets anywhere near competitive with traditional purchasing. That doesn’t mean it should be ignored. If your clients or your business are in a position to benefit from mobile commerce and having a mobile site there really is little harm in implementing a mobile strategy. It’s not expensive and it becomes another avenue to interact with your customers. Don’t be afraid to make the changes necessary.

Do you see mobile commerce playing an increasingly important role in the future? How should companies take advantage of mobile payments?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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