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.
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.