The Mobile Money Network™ Blog

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The Mobile Money Network™ Blog

News and opinion from the thriving world of mobile payments

The Mobile Money Network (MMN) launched in November 2010 with the vision of making the process of buying products across all sales and marketing channels a quick, easy and secure experience, hence increasing sales conversion for retailers. Read more...

The Mobile Money Network (MMN) launched in November 2010 with the vision of making the process of buying products across all sales and marketing channels a quick, easy and secure experience, hence increasing sales conversion for retailers. In November 2011, MMN launched its instant mobile checkout, Simply Tap – a mobile application available for iPhone and Android handsets.

MMN is working with a network of retailers, advertisers, banks and media owners to provide consumers with a simple way to discover and buy goods using the simplicity and ubiquity of the mobile phone. Retailers already signed up to the network include Thornton’s, HMV, Carphone Warehouse, Goldsmiths, The Hut Group and Pretty Green.

(Rugby)Tackling m-Commerce

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Phil Vickery Checks Out on Mobile

MMN’s MD John Milliken featured heavily in last week’s Retail Week article ‘Smartphones Ring the Changes in Retail’. Discussing in-store mobile payments, John says, “The technology is available and relatively easy to implement; the innovation exists in being able to link systems together.” Our collaboration with Thomas Pink is an example of MMN’s innovation in this area: this week Thomas Pink unveiled the range of official merchandise for the British and Irish Lions’ Tour at The Golden Lion in Mayfair – renamed The Pink Lion for the duration of the week-long campaign. Lions’ coach Warren Gatland pulled pints while customers purchased Thomas Pink Lions’ apparel from pictures on the walls using MMN’s Thomas Pink mobile checkout app (demonstrated by Phil Vickery above). Martin Bayfield, Lewis Moody and Andy Irvine joined in the fun with rugby lessons on the turf outside.

Retail Week e-Commerce Summit

MMN Marketing Director Nick White gave the keynote speech at the Retail Week e-Commerce Summit on Wednesday, in which he explained both how mobile payments provide consumers with a simpler, faster way to pay, and how to improve distribution, reach and revenue by enabling mobile payments across all channels. The Summit saw a strong turnout from forward-thinking retailers and featured inspiring talks from Ishan Patel of Aurora Fashions and Sarah Baillie of Debenhams. On Tuesday, Nick’s panel ‘How Will e-Commerce Change the Future of Retail?’ provoked passionate discussion amongst panelists from Waitrose and Morrisons. A key theme from the event was the importance of data to both customers and retailers.

4 essentials of retail

What is Mobile Commerce?

Nick White used this slide (above) to illustrate the mobile purchase process in four key quadrants: marketing, search, merchandising and checkout. The concept is expanded in our slide below, detailing the purchase in three domains home (where PC and tablet are dominant), out and about and in-store (where, for both, mobile is dominant). As a channel, what makes mobile unique is its application to every quadrant and therefore its ability to draw together the purchase experience. For example, mobile can be used for search at home with the Tesco app, which enables customers to compile their shopping list by scanning the barcodes of products they are throwing in the bin. Equally, mobile is used at an in-store checkout with Pay by Square, which links the mobile device with the till. m-Commerce is a broad term and, as it develops, we will have to analyse its various components in greater detail to better explain it. The key is to understand that the mobile device, uniquely, knows everything about its owner and can influence and personalise their experience in each quadrant, enabling a targeted, bespoke service that perpetuates the ‘demographic of one’ experience. Mobile will never completely take over from e-Commerce, but it will become equally as dominant.

4G is here, but is it any good?

Everything Everywhere has launched 4G in 11 cities across the UK, offering a massive opportunity for the network if it can get it right. In the UK, we pay a lot for data and generally the experience falls short: at the moment, the quality of the service is holding the industry back. Faster broadband is expensive and, if it proves to be unreliable or offer poor coverage, customers won’t be happy. The predictions seem lukewarm: Guy Laurence, CEO of Vodafone, says that its own 4G service to be launched next year has a longer wavelength and will focus on providing a good service indoors, casting doubt on the reach of EE’s offering.

Battle of the mobile wallets

Vodafone made the news again this week when Gemalto announced the launch of its mobile wallet in partnership with the operator, as Project Oscar (the UK network operators’ JV, which includes Vodafone) announced its rebranding as Weve. On Twitter, the community questioned what this meant for Oscar/Weve: Vodafone is a global company with presence in 30 territories, and it is not surprising that it is exploring solo projects alongside the JV. All the member operators of Weve have their own wallets and NFC initiatives. Tweeters are missing the point: in the near term, Weve is positioning itself as a marketing platform while Vodafone launches the wallet in Germany and Spain. The question is how Vodafone will add differentiation to NFC that benefits consumers and retailers. If it’s only concerned with in-store checkout, it’ll miss out on a lot of what m-Commerce offers. Ultimately, to benefit the consumer and retailers, it needs to add value across the purchasing journey.


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Has Apple started following rather than leading?

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It’s been a busy week for fans of mobile computing. Microsoft has launched both Windows 8 and its Surface tablet, but was predictably trumped on Tuesday evening by Apple’s launch of not only the iPad Mini but an extra revamped mainstream iPad (presumably the ‘new(er) iPad’). Apple’s remarkable impact on the mobile and technology industry to date has justifiably led to legendary levels of customer loyalty, but this most recent launch has led to rumblings of discontent from even those most loyal fans, who are dismayed at the increasingly shortened life-span of their beloved products.

Perhaps one of the most notable elements of the week is the very fact that the iPad mini even exists, due to the divergence from a famous claim by Steve Jobs at the 2010 launch of the original iPad, at which he described how “the seven-inch tablets are tweeners, too big to compete with a smartphone and too small to compete with the iPad… 7-inch tablets are dead on arrival”. While it was obviously beyond even the capabilities of the late and lamented genius to predict what the market would look like over a year after his own sad death, this change of direction does beg the question of whether Apple has been provoked into responding to the market rather than leading it; are they beginning to play catch-up?

It’s a tempting view. The creation of the iPad mini implies that either Apple believes it has something truly unique to offer to that end of the tablet market, or simply that it’s starting to look at and respond to the latest attempts from its rivals at eating into the iPad’s dominance.

The most recent example of this is the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, which recently saw its UK launch, and is notably now being sold in Waterstones. Similarly, Barnes and Noble is expected to come to the UK with its Nook offering in the not too distant future, and of course Samsung’s Galaxy 3 has done very nicely as an oversized phone. The threat of these tablets and others like them seems to have provoked Apple into making their own entrance to this particular market, while still maintaining their unrivalled reputation as a provider of premium products, and with premium prices to match.

Indeed, it is unquestioned that the iPad mini and their other recent high-profile launch, the iPhone 5, remain products that are not only beautiful but functionally advanced. The problem for Apple is simply that it is arguably becoming a victim of its own success. The fan following that it boasts places unique pressure on them to deliver stunning innovations with every launch, far more so than the very different fan base that first Nokia and then RIM have had to try to satisfy in similar situations in the past.

Disappointingly for those fans, the enhancements to the mainstream iPad – as well as those seen in the iPhone 5 and iOS6 – all seem to be examples of incremental changes; evolution rather than the revolutionary game-changers that we have come to expect. Rivals, Samsung in particular, are taking advantage of this to make up lost ground in what very recently looked an unassailable lead. In that particular case, there is even an argument that in a bid to maintain its superiority Apple is now being forced to fight just as crucial a battle in the courts as in its boardrooms and factories.

In short, the argument is that Apple is, at last, starting to behave like an ordinary technology company. It accepts it has to fit into the real world. It’s still a premium brand but it’s part of, not separate from, the market. However, there seems an equally compelling counter-argument. Apple revolutionized the mobile phone in 2007 with the launch of the iPhone, and arguably invented the tablet in 2010 with the iPad. By that reckoning, we should be due another revolutionary advance in 2013-14. Anybody want to bet against that being Apple iTV?

Back here in 2012, this glut of new devices is great news for any company with an interest in mobile business. If growth continues at its current rate, we should be in for a bumper season.

John Milliken, MD

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A hive of activity to provide more mobile payments

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Mobile Payments Boost on the UK High Street #1

The most significant news in mobile payments this week was the announcement by Mastercard of their partnership with Everything Everywhere. EE, which runs Orange and T-Mobiles branded services, has a 27 million customer base, so this initiative will have a huge impact on pushing mobile payments mainstream. The five year deal will use NFC and make contactless payment available to 100,000 retailers in the UK. One of their priorities is to make mobile payments accessible to smaller retailers. While the media are proclaiming the start of digital wallet wars, we’re really pleased to see that major players are getting involved in the industry and building solid partnerships. With offerings from Barclaycard, O2, Visa (having announced its intention with MMN) already on the table in the UK, the next step is to get consumers to adopt mobile payments in their everyday life. We ask, is NFC and contactless enough, when multichannel is the real opportunity of mobile?

Retailers race to catch digital rivals

This is the headline to an article on the BBC website written by Infosys, one of the world’s largest IT services companies. Infosys knows that it’s not just the transactions that make mobile payments so exciting, but the data that goes with them – enabling retailers to know their customers better, and provide better service to them. We believe that we can help retailers not only in the short term with mobile checkout, but longer term too, improving the ROI of media, and providing better, more relevant service to customers.

And this desire for data is globally driven

Increased competition about how to pay for goods is inevitably pushing payment fees down. However the crucial bonus about mobile payments is the data which accompanies the purchase. When a consumer buys a product with cash, the retailer can’t trace how or why that purchase was made. However when the payment is made on a mobile, the retailer can follow the journey and make rich insights through data stored on the phone including search and location. With such focus on data, payment companies can use the information to make offers to customer more personal but it’s therefore vital that their services are highly secure.

More Ways to Pay by Smartphone 

Talking of which, SumUp, the latest Square clone, is opening for business across Europe, including the UK. The service, which offers mobile payments through the attachment of a dongle to a smartphone or tablet, has £20 million backing. It will be interesting to see how it stands up against Square when Jack Dorsey’s company reach our shores.

Mobile Payments Boost on the UK High Street #2

This week Matthew Smith, director of mobile strategy at Carphone Warehouse, was interviewed about the Carphone Warehouse Mobile Checkout app, powered by Simply Tap. The company are actively ‘educating’ smartphone customers about the app by registering them at point of sale. With 3000 products available to purchase from retailers including Thorntons and HMV, it’s an excellent example of how mobile can be used on the High Street. It will be interesting to see where Carphone Warehouse’s 3.5 million customer base start shopping with their app, but who doesn’t like playing around with a new phone?


For more news and opinion about mobile payments, follow @theMMN on Twitter. If you’d like to get in touch, please call us on 020 7079 3930.


Photo by Garry Knight

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Loyalty schemes, mobile search and innovation

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Top 50 Mobile Innovators 2012

This week our inclusion in Mobile Entertainment’s list of Top 50 Mobile Innovators 2012 was announced. We’re proud to be listed alongside Blippar, Zeebox and Shazam.

Simply Tap unites retailers like MCX

Last week we mentioned the launch of the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) by a group of US retailers including Wal-Mart, Best Buy Co and Target Corp. In response, the Financial Times were among press who likened our instant mobile checkout app Simply Tap to the MCX initiative.

PayPal’s retail solution?

The big story of this week was that PayPal announced their mobile payments initiative with McDonalds in France. Following on from the Square/Starbucks tie-up last week, we’re seeing big brands adopting mobile payments. Once again it’s fast food: a couple of seconds makes a huge difference at the McDonalds’ till. However, this is just a trial in 20 French outlets and we haven’t heard about the user-experience yet. Last June PayPal’s Pizza Express collaboration didn’t produce a great user experience and we doubt this will prove much better. A question mark also remains over whether PayPal are offering retailers a solution or whether they’re a solution looking for a problem. Traditionally PayPal haven’t had access to High Street sales: mobile will help them grab a piece of the retail pie by nicely bridging online and offline.

Loyalty schemes value in mobile payments app

It’s great to see big chains in the States trialling new technology. Dunkin’ Donuts, who I worked for 15 years ago, have followed Starbucks by launching a mobile payments app. It’s not a ground-breaking solution but the Starbucks’ app got a million users in the States, I expect they’ll have similar success. This isn’t just about speed at the till: the loyalty scheme is crucial in keeping those customers coming through through the door.

Is video a catalyst for m-commerce sales? 

This Forbes feature proposes that video is a catalyst for m-commerce sales because it’s consuming over half of internet traffic on mobile devices, however it’s a tenuous argument and we’re doubtful of their conclusion. Video consumes a significant proportion of data because of the bandwidth it requires, much more so than Facebook or text-based articles. In the UK, video isn’t effective on the High Street because the quality of our mobile phone networks means you can’t stream reliably. Video works much better in places with a Wi-Fi network. Interestingly Forbes doesn’t mention whether the bandwidth consumption is taking place over Wi-Fi or by the mobile networks themselves. 4G is an opportunity for the UK networks to improve their bandwidth, increase coverage and quality of service. Once this has been achieved we can start to look at the role of video in driving m-commerce sales.

Google address mobile search with Playbook

Google have just updated their UK Mobile Playbook to address the pressing question: ‘How should I invest in mobile?’ rather than the outdated: ‘Why should I invest in mobile?’ The new report mentions our partner Carphone Warehouse as an example of a business which is ‘embracing local consumers by offering features and functionality tailored specifically to potential customers nearby’. The fact that Google have created a Mobile Playbook is interesting. Mobile is the biggest threat they’ve experienced since launch because it offers new ways to search and changes the way we consume data. In the future, search will involve scanning images with your smartphone rather than just inputting text into a PC and targeted, local searches will become more relevant because your phone is always with you (unlike your PC). As the search and consumption model changes with mobile, can Google adapt and convince their customers that they remain the de facto standard?

Photo by Salim Virji




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Mobile payments collaborations enliven the High Street

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All together now?

This week representatives from the mobile money industry, including all four major mobile network operators, launched a Mobile Payments Committee in the US. ‘The Mobile Payments Committee will develop and implement industry-wide solutions to the complex policy and business issues surrounding the emergence of mobile payments in the U.S and globally,’ says the announcement.

We’re convinced that collaboration is the way forward. There has been a lot of animosity between retailers and mobile network operators in the US who publicly said they weren’t going to support Google Checkout, so it’s a really positive move, but how is this committee going to measure their success? Before they sit down, they need to outline a set of objectives they hope to achieve. Without it what are they going to to deliver?

Here in the UK we’re at an earlier stage. Others in the industry have likened the approach to our own, with Simply Tap and many other collaborations starting to ferment, like Project Oscar (the MNO JV). These initiatives are sure to strengthen the adoption and sophistication of mobile payments in the UK through delivery and hopefully we won’t need a committee of our own.

Retailers collaborate on mobile payments plan

Interestingly in the same week as the ETA launch, a group of US retailers including Wal-Mart, Target Corp and Best Buy Co announced a new collaboration in the form of the Merchant Customer Exchange. We have been aware of this initiative for some time because of our relationship with Best Buy and it’s interesting to see retailers using the disruptive nature of the technology to take greater ownership in marketing and payments – although they may not be able to own all areas of the value chain if they are to get to market in a reasonable timeframe. Google Wallet and Square may have some competition to deal with.

Bridging the gap between the High Street and online with mobile

Talking of which, there’s been a lot of coverage this week about Square’s new partnership with Starbucks. Some people have professed it as a definitive move in mobile payments, but we think it’s more of a logical progression of what we’ve seen from Square so far and another step in a long process. They still face the challenge that their merchant payments services works better in coffee shops than in supermarkets and over time they will probably only be able to address this through collaborations with major EPoS vendors.

We’re also interested to see how mobile shopping app Swirl will develop. They’ve already got a strong roster with Macy’s and Old Navy signed up. Ultimately both Swirl and Square use mobile to bridge the High Street and online environment and we think the future lies in a combination of both, with a big dollop of useful customer data added in to make that experience truly personal.

Carphone Warehouse promote smartphone shopping 

We’re pleased to announce this week that Carphone Warehouse are actively encouraging customers to get shopping with their smartphones. At point of sale in their 800 stores they launched in-store registration to the Carphone Warehouse Mobile Checkout, powered by Simply Tap. Andrew Harrison, CEO of Carphone Warehouse said: ‘There is no doubt that mobile is changing the way that people search for and buy products. We know consumers and retailers alike want to take advantage of mobile payments.’ Offering consumers assistance and understanding is a positive move in the promotion of mobile payments.




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Mobile at the Olympics and checkout conversion

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Wireless lite

Ofcom report highlights smartphone retail revolution
Ofcom published a fascinating report this week which confirms that the UK’s consumers remain the most advanced in Europe. Retailers should embrace their use of mobile in all channels. The report shows that 31% of smartphone users take photos of a product and 21% scan bar codes. Mobile is changing the way people search for and buy products. Forward thinking retailers are already capitalizing upon this by installing Wi-Fi networks, launching specific in-store apps, and enabling people to purchase directly using image recognition, barcodes and QR codes via instant mobile checkout on their smartphones.

How purchase is evolving through checkout and search
Digital designer Luke Wroblewski’s excellent blog post on the role of mobile in e-commerce has given us plenty to think about this week. He discusses the evolution of checkout and provides insights into boosting conversion rates. In 2011 checkout forms on US sites had a 75% abandonment rate which were attributed to shipping and handling fees.

We think there are two ways to increase conversion: increase the desire to buy and reduce the effort to make a purchase. The mobile environment is completely geared up to achieve both. Persuading people to make a purchase and making checkout super-efficient is bolstered by improved search capability. We’re going to experience a quantum leap in the way we search online.

New and emerging search technologies are already changing the text-based model of search in the mobile realm: in-built cameras and readers allow us to search for products using a powerful combination of audio input, QR codes, image recognition and geo-location.

Take image recognition. Just by taking a picture of the product you want to buy on your mobile phone’s camera you could checkout right there and then on your mobile. How’s that for ‘reducing effort’? And if you’re shopping in-store, there’s not a handling fee in sight.

Search: moving towards mobile as ‘trusted advisor’ 

The way we search is changing and this change will be reflected in the way retailers market their goods to consumers. We’re moving to a place where results are pushed towards you on the basis of your online behaviour based on personal profile and data.

Your mobile is a rich data repository which may store bank details, social networking profiles, contacts list and calendar. And that’s the game changer: comprehensive, linked-up information combined with geo-location and the fact that it’s always with you. In three to five years, the device in your pocket will transmit intelligent advice in a non-invasive way. Your mobile will become your trusted advisor. And the data only increases in relevance, the more you respond.

Mobile ‘at heart of challenge to retail’ says major report
‘The mobile phone is at the heart of the challenge to traditional retail as it significantly interrupts the classical notion of the purchase path,’ says the annual The Future of Retail report from trend research trailblazers PSFK.

Following on from last week’s blog, we were interested to read about the trend of services with an opt-in and the mobile app Pay with Square, from Square, which lets customers pay just by saying their name.

The app uses geo-fencing to allow users to identify stores within 100 metres of their location, view special offers and choose to start a tab. When they are ready to pay, the customer tells a staff member their name, which prompts the merchant to pull up the customer’s photo and account details on an iPad. The combination of potential to ‘pull’ customers into stores, ability to pay just by walking in and the personalisation (it tracks rewards) is a boon for business.

For now the app is used in small companies such as independent cafes. Electronic point of sale (EPOS) becomes complex when it’s applied to larger business such as supermarkets. Square, with Twitter creator Jack Dorsey at the helm, is doing great thought leadership in terms of proving just how good mobile retail could be if this were properly integrated. The question now is can he pass the baton to the bigger players?

Olympics mobile payment trial – first impressions
As the Olympic torch gets ever closer to its final destination, mobile payment trials continue apace. Touted as the ‘Official Phone of the Olympics’, the Samsung Galaxy S3 lets you pay for items up to £20 at Olympics venues. We’ve tried it and think it’s the slickest instance of NFC we’ve seen so far.

Other initial reactions have started rolling in from the 1,000-strong trial group. An NFC World reporter said: ‘Our first impressions are that the app is clutter-free and easy to navigate. Set up took ten minutes.’

‘It just makes life much more sensible,’ Olympic medallist Sir Steve Redgrave told The Independent this week.

We are witnessing an important milestone here. Rather than one company at the epicentre owning the entire value chain, the initiative takes a collaborative approach: the SIM is from G&D; the phone is issued by 02; the handset is from Samsung and payments are enabled by Lloyds TSB and Visa.

This suggests the advent of an exciting ‘second’ stage in mobile commerce in which all partners have to co-operate. Many of those involved in mobile payments are not used to working in such partnerships, but our belief is that collaboration is the keystone of success.

Dumping the ‘start from desktop’ mindset
More from Luke Wroblewski, in his Mobile To The Future talk at last week’s web development conference An Event Apart, he told delegates that the smartphone is the fastest spreading technology in history. More iPhones are activated every day than babies are born. People are twice as likely to make a purchase on a mobile.

But key to his talk was that ‘mobile is not desktop’. Designers and developers need to adopt a completely different mindset when designing for mobile. We agree with Luke: changing the way we think is crucial when it comes to mobile. It’s not just about considering that users will provide and receive information through a smaller screen than they are used to. It’s also about understanding that mobiles provide access to multiple forms of data, which in turn provides a spectrum of new and unprecedented marketing opportunities.

Cash: still alive and kicking
As the ‘future of cash’ debate rumbles on, the Payments Forward network in the UK has announced an event in October which poses the motion: ‘This house believes that emerging and mobile payments technology will mark the decline of cash.’

While some may envisage a cashless society, Mobile Money Network does not predict the end of notes and coins any time soon. For a start, we think there’s a hell of a long way to go before everyone has an NFC-enabled phone.

Not only do we have a very mature structure underlying the cash system in the UK, but cash is also downright convenient!

Carphone Warehouse boosts mobile checkout
Carphone Warehouse are actively encouraging consumers to shop with their mobiles. They’ve launched in-store registration, which means that thousands of new customers every week will be registered on their mobile checkout, which is powered by Simply Tap. The offering is multi-channel – Carphone Warehouse products can also be purchased through their app, in-store, on their website and in their printed comms too.

In the press
The current issue of Huthwaite Journal features an insightful article about The Mobile Money Network called The Evolution of Consumer Buying Behaviour which focuses on the rise of mobile purchasing. It’s a great background piece to what we’re doing and definitely worth a read.

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How mobile commerce is creating innovation & collaboration

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HMV Empire ad

Banks and mobile operators are working together
This week we were interested to hear that Deutsche Telekom had teamed up with MasterCard to create a mobile payments application. The move comes in the wake of Vodafone’s partnership with Visa. Further proof that the evolution of the mobile wallet requires mobile operators to collaborate with banks so both parties can take advantage of developments in mobile commerce.

Retailers are all benefiting from mobile shopping
The launch of IBM’s augmented reality mobile shopping app shows that the tech giant is also keen to collaborate, this time with retailers. It makes a huge amount of sense for customers to be able to use their mobile phone like a personal shopper (and this one lives in your pocket and is better suited to cross-sell and up-sell). Retailers like John Lewis and Comet have already cottoned on and their apps work like in-store shopping assistants, while the Amazon app offers the capability to search by barcode.

While the augmented reality is a nice feature in IBM’s app, it’s expensive and the experience is fairly limited right now. Augmented reality requires a large amount of data transfer which today’s mobiles still aren’t very good at. However the advantage of mobile (over online and offline marketing) is that it can offer the retailer an aggregation of personal data – demographic, geographic, financial – which can then be tailored to customers and used to add an extra dimension in the in-store experience. While customers aren’t going to download an app for each store they purchase from, they’ll be looking for a platform which hosts a number of retailers, which is the thinking behind our SimplyTap app.

Small businesses are getting solutions too
Similarly, Dan Wagner is offering small businesses a mobile payment system with the launch of mPowa. Dan is an industry luminary who has massive insight into commerce and mPowa has broad platform and geographic appeal. However he’s joining a space already inhabited by iZettle and Square. We hope he makes a big success of it, there’s room for all of these guys.

NatWest adds more weight to NFC

Following on from PayWave (Samsung/Visa), PayPass (MasterCard), QuickTap (Orange/Barclaycard)and PayTag (BarclayCard), NatWest have announced TouchPay, their NFC payments service in partnership with Visa. NatWest have already established an enviable mobile banking base, having bravely ventured out into the space before their competitors. Undoubtedly it will be a great success.

Smartphones are everywhere
We can’t get enough of smartphones and new figures suggest that by 2015, 90% of the mobile market will be smartphone-based. But it’s not just the iPhone dominating the market while Nokia and Blackberry are suffering losses. We’re also seeing the rise and rise of Samsung, propelled last month by the release of the awesome Galaxy S3.

Helping retailers join together
Last week’s BRC Retail Symposium concluded that retailers need to be careful not to miss out on the mobile revolution. It’s in line with views which have already been expressed in the industry, including in our Retail Week Report which was published in May. Now we know that mobile is going to be big we need to work out how to help retailers through the revolution and not leave a whole group behind; because being a great retailer doesn’t mean you’re necessarily great at mobile marketing or mobile commerce.

Instant purchase for everyone
One of the ways that we’re helping retailers survive the mobile revolution is by simplifying purchase, making the journey shorter and capturing data. This week SimplyTap placed HMV adverts in Empire magazine which allowed customers to buy directly off the page with QR Codes. In the same issue of Empire, Amazon and Sainsbury’s were advertising rival products. Where it would have previously been a fight of the advertisers, only the QR code in the HMV ad allowed customers to make an instant purchase (the Sainsbury’s ad rather obliquely led to more information, while Amazon relied on brand play). As a result, only HMV/SimplyTap were able to capture and measure sales directly off the page.


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Welcome to The Mobile Money Blog

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Mobile Money Network retail event

Welcome to The Mobile Money Network blog. Rather than just using this space to talk about the exciting things we’re getting up to, we’ll also be providing insightful opinion and thought leadership about the business of mobile commerce. Things are developing rapidly in this world and we’ll be analysing how these changes affect retailers, banks and multi-channel media companies.

The story so far

If you want to know more about our business then watch Mobile Money Network: The Story So Far. Featuring contributions from our chairman Sir Stuart Rose and Retail Week‘s George MacDonald, it serves as an introduction to the mobile payments revolution which is changing the face of retail right now. This year, 35% of retail traffic will be via mobile and by 2020, Visa expects 50% of transactions to run through mobile devices.

The Economist on QR Codes 

QR Codes have been failing to become the next big thing in the UK for a while, but according to The Economist, they’re finally taking off. One of the reasons they haven’t worked is that consumers need an incentive to scan, be that a competition, giveaway or the opportunity to buy. The feature crucially ignores what happens when you monetize QR codes. Purchasing with a QR code turbo-charges the offering and gives the consumer an instant hit.

Booming in-store smart phone usage

Mobile Commerce Daily says we’re addicted to using our smartphones and 33% of us would apparently rather play with our phones than have sex! When it comes to shopping, the figures are even higher. A report from Tradedoubler found that 42% of smartphone owners in Europe are going online in stores to check prices, read reviews and get product information. The next step for retailers is to capitalise on the smartness of these phones by offering the consumer a virtual shop assistant on their mobile. While consumers won’t want to download an app for every retailer in the land, our Simply Tap app can offer this service, and undoubtedly, the virtual assistant will be better informed than its human counterpart.

Mobile banking snack culture

This week a Forrester Report said that US banks were spending one third of their digital budget on mobile this year. We’re surprised the figure isn’t higher. In the UK, mobile banking has become an accepted channel, in fact NatWest customers are making more log-ins via their mobiles than their computers. They’re using their devices in different ways to interact with banks – mobiles use is characterised by ‘snacking’ for example, checking balances, making payments on the move, while bigger screens are used for more in-depth tasks. The upshot is that consumers are becoming more in-touch with their finances and building a familiar and trusting relationship with mobile banking and payments.

PayPal can go further

One of the benefits of mobile payments is that you won’t have to remember to take your wallet out with you. This week PayPal released a video showing how much easier it will be to go shopping in Aurora stores and Pizza Express with a mobile phone. While we’re all for mobile payment iniatives, we’re keen to look at the whole retail process. For the retailer, payment comes right at the end of a journey which includes marketing and getting the right consumers and products through the door. To develop the mobile payment space and benefit consumers and retailers, we need to innovate at each stage of the chain.

Media coverage

Mobile Money Network was in the media last week when our Simply Tap/Thornton’s Best of British offer was mentioned by Lorraine on her daytime ITV show.

We’re also gaining attention in social media land with the innovative Virtual Vinyl Store which has been produced from a collaboration between Simply Tap, Liam Gallagher’s fashion label Pretty Green and Universal music. As well as offering music lovers the chance to purchase classic vinyl and participate in a music quiz, we’re offering a great trip to see the Stone Roses play in Japan.

In an incisive piece in yesterday’s Guardian, our MD, John Milliken, called for retailers to respond quickly to the fundamental shift in consumer behaviour that is being caused by mobile phones. The article has been creating some noise on social, and is definitely worth a read and a RT!

Out and about

This week our team are attending Etail Europe and the British Retail Consortium’s Retail Symposium. Please come and say hello if you’re there too. We’re keen to exchange information and ideas across the industry, and actively encourage you to pass our blog onto your colleagues. If you want to contribute, please post a comment or contact us. Follow our journey here or @theMMN for daily hits.

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