There is a phrase every customer hears at the cash register when they get ready to make a purchase - "cash or credit." However, as technology has evolved, there may be a new payment option that needs to get added to that list, mobile.
Smartphones have penetrated nearly every aspect of our everyday lives, from how we search the web to how we play games to how we shop. From digital coupon and loyalty cards to electronic payment options, smartphones have become as important to the commerce process as cash.
However, a recent report issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) highlights some key consumer and privacy issues resulting from the increasingly widespread use of mobile payments.
"Consumers fund mobile purchases using a variety of sources, from credit cards to prepaid debit cards to charges placed on their mobile phone bills. Under current regulations, each of these funding methods has a different process for consumers to dispute unauthorized charges, with varying levels of consumer protection," the report reads. "This creates a potentially confusing landscape for consumers trying to decide which mobile payment system to use and how to fund these payments."
The report goes on to say that the mobile payment arena has grown quickly and systems can provide innovative and convenient options for consumers. However, there needs to be clear process in place for customers to deal with disputed charges. Just because the process is easier and often more convenient for consumers does not mean businesses can be lax on the customer service aspect.
Mobile commerce seems to be on the verge of becoming the payment option of the future in the retail sector. However, businesses need to be smart about how they implement the solution to be sure their customers are getting the best possible experience.