Mobile payments are seeing incredible growth in today’s market thanks to the convenience of Google Wallet, Paypal and Amazon Payments. The unparalleled proliferation of mobile devices certainly doesn’t hurt either — after all, how many of your friends don’t own a tablet, smartphone or other mobile device?
In fact, I’d wager you can count them all on one hand. Statistics would support that claim too, as a recent publication by EDTECH shows that 87% of American adults own a cell phone, over half of which are considered smartphones.
Methods of mobile payment
With such a large portion of potential customers toting devices capable of quick and easy transactions, you’d be well served to take advantage of the many mobile payment services on offer. These services come in one of four payment forms: SMS-based payment, direct mobile billing, mobile web payments and NFC.
All of these methods come with their own advantages. For example, SMS payments are easy for digital goods and require only a simple text to complete the transaction. Direct mobile billing bypasses the middle man by simply adding the charge to the user’s mobile bill. Mobile web payments are probably the most familiar to the customer because they closely resemble their desktop counterparts. And, as always, NFC technology provides an effortless “wave and go” functionality for physical locations.
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So how can these mobile payment solutions strengthen your mobile marketing strategies? The simple answer is to find the right mobile payment solution for your current mobile strategy. Not the answer you were hoping for? Let’s put it another way: your chosen methods of mobile marketing should drive your desired mobile payment service.
Let’s break down the nature of these payment methods and how they fit into a bigger marketing picture. QR codes and other “on-site” marketing can greatly benefit from direct mobile billing. Customers can be quickly sent to product pages from their mobile devices and then use convenient one-click payments to finish their purchase. This method has the dual benefit of making purchases easier for customers as well as decreasing overhead cost for companies by sidestepping banks and other financial institutions.
With NFC technology being incorporated into many mobile devices nowadays, similar one-click payments can be made in brick-and-mortar stores. This ease of purchase can have a powerful effect on the psyche of potential customers who might otherwise pull out their wallet and use a traditional form of payment. For the moment, NFC tends to appeal to the younger audiences, but as has been seen with mobile technology in general, older demographics are sure to follow in time.
Using social media for an edge
Mobile strategies that focus more on social media as the transport of choice might find greater success, especially when deeply integrated with a customer’s existing social media environment. For example, Google Wallet payments would enable seamless transactions for products marketed through other Google services like Ads, Plus or even Hangouts. Utilizing Amazon or PayPal payments would likewise make sense for customers brought in through dedicated mobile apps on the iPhone and Kindle. The key is to choose the most transparent method that allows the customer to complete the sale with as few obstacles as possible.
Solutions like these that tightly integrate payment options into the sale process usually lead to both higher conversion rates and customer satisfaction. Those worried about this trend slowing down anytime soon need not fret. Forrester is forecasting substantial growth in mobile payments and predicts spending in this sector to reach $90 billion by the year 2017. With mobile wallet services such as MasterCard’s new Master Pass continuing to gain traction, clearly the time is now to jump on the mobile payment bandwagon and enjoy the benefits of convenient transactions and the high customer satisfaction it brings.