As every merchant is aware of by now, the use of mobile devices as part of a POS system is a trend that is not going away anytime soon. Major retailers like Apple, JCPenney and Walmart have incorporated mobile applications and devices into the standard checkout process and small boutiques are starting to add services like Square to improve the customer experience while keeping costs down.
Despite the increased exposure of the technology, there is still a lot of ground to be covered before it can be considered the industry standard. During this year's Mobile World Congress convention, which was held at the end of February, business intelligence provider SAP surveyed 300 mobile industry experts about what the future could hold.
According to the third annual survey, which was released last week, 53 percent of mobile leaders believe that improving the customers' retail experience is critical for creating a successful mobile payment system. However, the best way to do this is up for debate.
Those polled provided several different options for improving adoption rates. At the top of the list was near-field communication (NFC), facilitating universal adoption and location-based point-of-sales systems, each being cited by around 25 percent. Custom consumer offers (12 percent) and an integration with mass transit (9 percent) also received some attention.
"We are seeing a maturing of the mobile payments market, as we move from a service that is driven by person-to-person payments to one that must tackle the challenges of the retail environment," Diarmuid Mallon, the head of Global Mobile Marketing Programs for SAP, said in a press release. "It is clear from our survey that in addition to improving the payment experience, mobile wallet apps need to support a multitude of services such as loyalty and couponing."
The use of mCommerce is an untapped revenue stream for many merchants that they need to start looking into in order to keep pace with the competition.