PCCG Payment Processing Blog

Consumer familiarity with new technology could stimulate mobile commerce

By Patricia Carlin Consulting Group

The act of swiping a credit card in the checkout line of a store could soon be replaced by the act of waving a smartphone in front of a sensor, which may have greater implications on mobile commerce and internet retailers that provide a PayPal alternative.

Near field communications (NFC) technology, developed in the last decade and implemented by Google this year for its Wallet application, will allow a consumer to store credit card, debit card and gift card information on a smartphone. The phone can then exchange information with devices that are outfitted with NFC technology.

Industry observers predict that this will expedite electronic transactions, as the arduous task of inputting credit card information online will no longer be necessary.

What is still uncertain is whether consumers, who are already wary of storing and sharing vital financial information on their mobile devices, will embrace this technology.

A ThreatMetrix survey found that only 29 percent of consumers claim to have used a mobile banking service, while more than half of the respondents who had not used such a service said it was because of security concerns.

But, if mobile payments surge in the next decade, as many industry experts predict, more consumers will become familiar with mobile commerce, which could compel e-commerce companies to implement mobile payment capabilities through their merchant account manager.

For that to happen, more telephone providers and credit card companies will need to support NFC technology. Currently, Google Wallet is only partnered with Sprint, Citigroup and MasterCard, although other companies are beginning to align themselves on this dynamic landscape.

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