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‘A lot has been said about omni-channel, but it is little understood. Consumers want their shopping experience to be seamless, but they want to access a retailer’s shopping channels,’ says Simon Moran, head of PayPal UK. In the near future omni-channel will die out. There won’t be any m- t- or f-commerce there will just be commerce. That is where mobile payments will step in, as consumers want to jump the queue in stores.
‘There is a natural inertia to new technology, but compared to eight years ago, when I launched one of the first mobile payment systems, we are at a turning point,’ says Moran.
‘You need a combination of consumer requirement, available technology and investment from retailers. I’m not seeing too much inertia now,’ he says.
Huge numbers of smartphone users are driving uptake for mobile payments solutions. According to PayPal’s research, 38% of UK mobile users have made a transaction already and 71% of those adults say they will be making a mobile transaction in the next 12 months. ‘We are not going backwards and retailers are getting traction in mobile payments, in both the online and offline worlds,’ says Moran.
With 18m active users in the UK and 25% of online shoppers using the service regularly, PayPal is encouraging DIY payment among consumers. ‘People are not aware you can pay for your meal in Pizza Express with your phone via PayPal,’ says Moran. Thomas Pink and Karen Millen are other UK retailers where mobile payment is possible with the service.
‘The next layer is to jump the queue and order ahead in Starbucks, and Jamba Juice,’ says Moran. Payment at these chains is operational in the US and coming soon to the UK. Moran says PayPal is looking at new and more interesting ways to check out to make the customer flow easier and frictionless.
Top five take-outs
1. Be mobile first. Consumers expect a frictionless shopping experience, smartphone in hand.
2. Have a digital wallet mindset. V-currencies are on the rise.
3. Think convenience. ‘It’s one more step to click into an app and check out now, ahead of being served in the queue,’ says Moran.
4. Embrace physical-digital retail strategies. Consumers use technology to make their lives easier. Retailers need to do the same.
5. Expect mobile to facilitate growth globally. ‘We see hyper-growth in emerging markets, but looking at our established markets is equally important. Our growth rates in EMEA are 90% up on last year, so there is lots of low-hanging fruit to grab in the meantime,’ says Moran.