Retailers: Mobile Shopping and Mobile Payments Don’t Always Connect

March 6, 2019         By: Steven Anderson

The smartphone is a major part of everyday life for a lot of people out there, and for good reason. This device is the center of social lives, information gathering, even filling a few quiet minutes in the day with something to do. Its connection to shopping, meanwhile, is somewhat different than what some might expect. A recent study from RootMetrics by IHS Markit says that smartphones are a big part of life, but mobile payments and mobile shopping don’t always connect.

Smartphones are a big part of life, as the study says, which makes such a point clear immediately by noting that 23 percent of Americans check said device within one minute of waking up in the morning. For 58 percent, who can show a little more forbearance, the number climbs to 10 minutes.

Though mobile shopping has been a big part of the shopping equation for many, mobile payments are somewhat less so. Here, of course, that’s referring mainly to the e-wallet; the credit or debit card—which are themselves mobile payments tools—are the weapon of choice. The usual suspects are involved, as they’ve been since mobile payments’ inception: 37 percent of consumers don’t find mobile payments more convenient, and 36 percent—not necessarily the same people—don’t believe their data is safe when using such tools.

That people still don’t believe mobile payments safe even after years of advancements in security with few if any memorable data breaches is somewhat shocking on its surface. What does it take to prove a system is secure to some people? Yes, nothing is always secure no matter how much advancement security makes. But that’s the case everywhere, even with credit and debit cards. As for convenience, that’s a point that can always use some shoring up as well. Using things like rewards programs and extreme customization to give customers a reason will go a long way.

Mobile payments has always been treated skeptically, especially since customers can often just use a card to get the same results. In the end, though, it’s all about providing more reason to use these tools. Mobile shopping can be a help here, but mobile payments have to step up as well. It worked for Starbucks, and it can work here.