From The Editor | August 15, 2013

RetailNOW Presenter Advises How To Drive Mobile Payment Adoption

By Bernadette Wilson, associate editor, Business Solutions magazine
Follow Me On Twitter @bernadeditor

BSM-Mobile Device

At the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA)’s RetailNOW 2013 conference, Aug. 5 to 8, 2013 in Las Vegas, Dick Scheutzow, account executive for Systems East/Xpress-pay.com, presented “Driving Mobile Payment Adoption from the Ground Up,” a discussion of mobile payment technology, “still in its infancy.”

Xpress-pay.com is a convenience processor for government entities that began taking payments for municipalities via the Internet in 2005. The company introduced the Xpress-pay Mobile Digital Wallet in 2011 and added restaurant pay-at-the-table to Xpress-pay mobile this year. Scheutzow said Xpress-pay is considering the use of its technology in retail markets.

Scheutzow stressed that providing mobile wallet technology is a complex process. Part of the complexity is finding a way to provide one app for customers to use to make payments from their smartphones — rather than one app for each provider. He said the demand for the technology is strong, pointing to twenty-somethings who “don’t want to carry anything but their phones.” He also said the technology means security to consumers — it eliminates handing over a credit card and revealing the account number to make a payment. “If they don’t have to give up their cards, they will feel more in control,” he said.

For the retailer, the technology provides a new communication channel with customers to provide special offers and loyalty programs without having to issue cards — perhaps one of dozens a customer is carrying. “Offers compel customers to come to the store,” Scheutzow says. “Everyone likes loyalty. No one likes the trouble.”

Scheutzow said nonprofits, traditionally slower to adopt new technology, are easy to enroll in mobile wallet networks. Nonprofits can include their QR codes in print — such as flyers or ads — and can accept donations via smartphone or their websites. The technology can mean lower fees, the ability to accept any text-to-give amount, and higher ROI for the organizations.

He said as the technology develops and usage grows, “starting from the ground up means starting small.” He cited Isis, the mobile commerce joint venture created by AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US, and Verizon, which recently announced plans to roll out its mobile wallet initiative nationwide after pilots in Austin, TX, and Salt Lake City. Scheutzow suggested following a similar plan to begin: “Seed in a couple of markets and grow from there.”

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