Merchants and the Race for Mobile Payments
As consumers become more comfortable shopping on mobile devices, purchases conducted on smartphones and tablets are projected to soar 173 percent, from $52 billion annually today to $142 billion by 2019, according to Forrester.
Merchants looking to add alternative payment options to their websites have made PayPal their go-to partner in recent years. While PayPal is working hard to leverage its e-commerce clout to serve customers’ mobile checkout needs as well, powerful competitors have launched or are gaining ground with their own potentially disruptive fast payment options.
Tech titans like Apple and Google, credit card giants like Visa and MasterCard and ever-innovative e-commerce leader Amazon.com are doing everything in their considerable powers to knock PayPal off its alternative payments perch.
Merchants might be tempted to sit on the sidelines and wait to see who is left standing before deciding which mobile payment providers to partner with. That would be a mistake.
Streamlining the path to purchase and checkout process has been one of the key ways that e-tailers have been able to improve their customers’ online shopping experiences and drive conversions. Mobile consumers have come to expect the fastest, most seamless checkout experiences possible. They don't want to type their credit card numbers or shipping addresses into a small screen every time they shop a new site. They also never want to worry about the security of their data, which high-profile breaches at major retailers routinely call into question.
New alternate payment options promise to accelerate this process, and merchants should take a hard look at implementing them for several reasons. For one, they're very popular in Europe, making them crucial to any merchant looking to expand into that market. Alternate payment options are also beginning to bridge the gap between online and offline purchasing, making them particularly attractive to merchants with online and brick-and-mortar stores. But the real promise of alternative payments is their ability to help consumers over the long-standing mobile purchase barriers of convenience and security.