Mobile solution: Is paying with your smart phone a bright idea?

04/12/14 by Mike Catania



Your smart phone already does plenty for you, so why not include paying for merchandise to that list?
So maybe the actual technology behind setting up a mobile marketplace of sorts as a means to skip the experience of handling cash, credit cards or debit cards is more about retailers creating these apps, rather than the phone itself.
Still, the idea of being able to simply swipe your phone or have it scanned at a retailer register certainly sound appealing to those who aren't afraid to flash to tout just how savvy they are when it comes to electronics.

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For those who, for example, were burned by the Target data breach or have had issues with fraud or identity theft might be a little more skeptical and skittish moving forward with this idea. You also would have to consider an older demographic as well, one that may either not have a smart phone or would scoff at the notion that their phone is nothing more than a means to make calls.
That isn't the particular group these retailers are honing in on, but rather planning for what certainly feels like the future when it comes to making purchases. The question remains, however, is whether or not the masses are going to ultimately buy into this concept initially?
Plenty of big box retailers are cultivating a game plan for the not so distant future that would include this concept at the majority of their stores These major players include the likes of Wal Mart, Target and Best Buy.
The thinking is retailers can convince the majority of consumers to latch on to this innovative technology through special promotions and offers that only would be available upon using the smart phone software. The retailers will preach everything from efficiency to convenience when promoting this idea, and most of what they're saying will be true, even if it is rhetoric pieced together my a marketing or public relations whiz.
Truthfully, retailers understand that fees associated with purchases could easily be eliminated with this type of service, plus one has to wonder if every store is going to have their own application, are consumers really going to want to have them all cluttered on their phone, and have to open a new app for every new store?
One has to wonder and assume that some retailers might piggy back off one another and share some sort of application that is universally accepted and thus approved by consumers who were promised convenience and instead spend most of their time in the checkout line sorting through their smart phone to find the right retailer based software.
At some point, either a retailer is going to go rogue and create their own app specifically for their brand or a few will come together and deliver this technology. In other words, it's not so much how this is going to come to fruition but rather when.
This inevitable game changer as far as how we shop at stores is coming in some form or fashion regardless of the specifics. Whether or not it will be welcomed with open arms could be determined by how seamless or clunky the transition is from wallet and debit cards to a smart phone only shopping experience.

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