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Catering to Cashless Consumers, a Q&A

Posted on 7.31.2013

Is it safe to say that Google Wallet is a bust? Probably.

Is its lack of momentum a direct contradition to the trends in the mobile payment arena? Absolutely. 

"For merchants, it's hard to predict whether consumers will use Google Wallet, Isis, or any number of other alternative e-wallets and other payments," said Bluesnap CEO, Ralph Dangelmaier. "As a result, many online merchants limit their payment options to credit and debit cards, bypassing incremental mobile sales using other payment methods. In an emerging market with no clear market leaders, merchants have to rely on their payment processing platform to simplify the complexity."

BlueSnap, a provider of e-commerce platforms, including mobile, goes more in depth with what the mobile payment ecosystem looks like, where its challenges lie and how merchants can overcome them to provide holistic - and necessary - payment options for customers. 

Website Magazine: What benefits are there for merchants to adapt mobile payments?

Ralph Dangelmaier: Mobile commerce presents a huge opportunity for merchants. According to Gartner, global mobile payment transaction values will hit the $235.4 billion mark in 2013. In order for mobile to work, the model must integrate fully with a company's online and in-store experience. Taking this integrated approach creates loyal, happy customers. Starbucks is a great example of a merchant who has cracked the code on mobile commerce because they integrate the in-store experience with mobile. Starbucks combines loyalty points and promotions with the convenience of easy mobile payments. When you are waiting in line to pay at Starbucks, using your mobile phone eliminates an extra minute from your wait  or gets you a free latte - and that matters to consumers. Starbucks recently reported that it generates more than 3 million mobile payment transactions per week - evidence that this payment method is beneficial for merchants.  

WM: Are consumers adopting this fast enough to warrant merchants investing in it? 

RD: Gartner's prediction of a $235.4B market shows that consumers are eagerly adopting mobile shopping.The key for merchants is to invest wisely in a mobile payments platform that fully integrates with your online commerce. Whether customers buy using their smart phones or online, their customer profile and payment information must be fully synchronized. It's not about how they are shopping; it's about how consumers are connecting to your brand. Consumers want to connect to your brand anywhere and everywhere, so the merchants who can support this model will win.

WM: Who is leading?

RD: The U.S. is actually a laggard in mcommerce. To look for real leadership, we need to go abroad, to countries like Kenya. According to findings, two thirds of the Kenyan population filters $13 billion - more than a quarter of the East African country's gross domestic product - through M-Pesa, which is the world's leading mobile money network.

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