What is MCommerce?
Most people would rather forget their wallet or purse than their mobile phone. Phone is a poor name for the mobile device that most of us carry these days, because using it for phone calls is now one of its less significant uses. I use my phone several times an hour to check face book, send and receive emails, on 2 different email addresses, play chess and so on. At the same time phones and tablets have morphed into one mobile device.
The next big explosion in technology, already underway, is the use of tablet devices to conduct MCommerce. With tablets, apps have the functional power of rich clients, that is to say the app is not limited to a browser on a PC of which the providence cannot be assured. The MCommerce application can run statefully in a relatively secure environment.
The 3 areas to MCommerce
The first is mobile banking. Most of us are comfortable doing online banking and would be happy to install a banking app on our mobile device. This enables us to have real time access to our bank account almost anywhere and to use dead time to pay bills and check balances. Compare this to balancing a current account using cheque book stubs, whilst waiting for a statement to be sent once a month through the post. This is what many of us would have done 20 years ago.
The second area which is starting to gain leverage is the ability to transfer money from one mobile device to another. An example of this is one person paying a bill in a restaurant and everyone else texting that person their contribution.
The third and potentially most lucrative is the ability to sell targeted products to consumers. We are all used to seeing carefully selected adverts when we surf the web. Imagine how well products can be targeted at consumers if the advertisement provider has the increased knowledge gained from having a relationship with both the user’s telco (telecommunications company) and bank. The bank and retailer can concentrate on their core business and the MCommerce provider can charge a commission to process the payment, much like an existing credit card provider does.
People will not want to install separate apps to buy train tickets, theatre tickets, books and so on. There is a land grab going on between various MCommerce providers to be the mobile payment provider.
Greg Clinker is an IT professional with 20 years experience. He is currently a Technical Architect at Monitise.