Mobile Payments Brand Push Underway
Mobile payments consumer acceptance is growing.
Any one recall the name “PayPal” next to credit card choices during online, mobile or retail checkout? Expect soon to see “Zong, ” as eBay builds mobile payments.
Just as Google blessed mobile advertising with its purchase of Admob–and Apple with Quattro Wireless–consumers will grow to accept Zong as a secure form of payment like PayPal. Mobile payments‘ consumer acceptance is one marketing hurdle as Starbucks discovered.
Mobile payments may turn out to be eBay’s cash cow, as it grows Zong’s business with its current 250 mobile operators located in 45 countries. Leave your Visa, Mastercard, American Express cards at home? No problem. Retail or online phone purchases may become the payment of choice, especially for consumers lacking credit cards or large credit lines. If you can imagine buying your new car with a mobile phone, then you get it. If you’re still thinking a $4.95 cable from eBay, you might re-think the power of mobile payments.
Per the Wall Street Journal, PayPal’s CFO sees the potential. PayPal has traditionally catered to those with plenty of plastic. With Zong aboard, eBay’s 100 million customers and thousands of other vendors offering PayPal, needn’t worry about their customers’ credit card. Everyone has a phone. And consumers trust their carriers.
eBay sees mobile payments offered by PayPal as a competitive edge against Amazon and Zong to reach digital goods purchasers. And the beauty of phone transactions, charged to a consumer’s phone bill, is higher transaction fees over credit cards. But the convenience should outweigh the higher fees which are ultimately charged to consumers in any case.
Some research firms have taken the tinsel of the Christmas tree claiming that Zong customers don’t have a lot of disposable money. Yet as Obopay in the U.S., Africa and India discovered, going after bank-less consumers, who don’t have checking accounts let alone credit cards, becomes profitable due to the large number of transactions.
On any day, trillions of dollars and other currencies flow through commerce. If a payment transaction company grabs just a tiny part of the money flowing around the globe, mobile payments easily supports many players in the market.
In my interview with Carol Realini, Obopay’s CEO, she didn’t hesitate a bit when I raised the competitive issues. The “un-banked” share of the market is significant. As NFC (near field communications) chips begin appearing in mobile phones worldwide, consumers with checking accounts and credit cards will also see the convenience of mobile payments over credit cards. The teen market alone is enormous, as parents move allowances into mobile banking accounts, putting a top limit on spending.
So is it “goodbye wallet” time? Are consumers ready to trust their feature or smartphone for purchases. PayPal Zong and RIIS (Retail Info Systems News) believe mobile payments time has arrived.