Imagine a world where mobile is king, commerce is queen, and context is God. These, says Srinivas Nidugondi, SVP at Mahindra Comviva, are what rule when consumer shopping behavior is reimagined in the context of mobility. A successful mobile payments solution, he says, must adopt a “no white space” strategy – it must be provided to the right target audience, in the right context. In a new guide, PYMNTS compiled Nidugondi’s thoughts and predictions on where he sees mobile payments going in 2015 – and what he sees as crucial for any solution in the space to truly take hold.
MOBILE PAYMENTS OF TODAY
Mobile payments has thus far endured many successes and failures, but one thing that is for sure is the vastness of the mobile finance space. There’s payments, payments related services and commerce – not to mention the various stakeholders, or the consumer, the business and the merchant segments. How then, asks Nidugondi, can a mobile solution cater and customize to all markets?
“Simply put, keeping in mind that every global marketplace vastly differs in every possible way, the need of the hour is a ‘no white space’ strategy,” says Nidugondi.
Mobile payments got its first push in developing markets – in Africa, for example – because of their fundamental financial requirements, says Nidugondi. In developed markets, however, that’s not quite the case.
“When it comes to mobile money, the clearest differentiator between developing and developed markets can be summed up as follows. In a space where consumers already have a plethora of choices – cards, electronic payments, digital payments, access to digital channels, such as the Internet – why would they use a mobile for financial transactions?” asks Nidugondi.
That, he says, is where “context” comes in. A company can “re-imagine” a customer’s purchase journey with the help of mobile-based tools that are “context-aware, socially driven, powered by technology, personalized and, most importantly, secure.”
Social networks are also a powerful tool for customers to obtain information – creating a “better” and “different” shopping experience. Technology like NFC, BLE, biometrics, QR codes and more are also disrupting payments in a big way.
“Suddenly, one is able to visualize a pattern by which one is able to aid the consumer again and help them not only in the purchase journey itself but beyond as well,” says Nidugondi. “This would, in all likelihood, encourage the customer to share their experience with their peers.”
Finally, when it comes to security, he says he is “of the firm opinion that if an appropriate solution can be developed to allay a customer’s fears about security, mobile-based payments would certainly obtain increased momentum.”
The bottom line: All of these elements are crucial parts of the payments game.
MOBILE PAYMENTS OF TOMORROW
So what’s to be expected this year? Firstly, says Nidugondi, mobile payments are not going anywhere. They are and will continue to be a priority for all stakeholders – and their growth rate is expected to generate between $430 billion and $1 trillion in transaction value in 2015.
The retail segment, he says, is particularly going to take up this cause by adopting a “mobile-first” strategy – ensuring that a customer’s experience on whichever mobile device they choose “is nothing short of perfect.”
Next, Host Card Emulation (HCE) is one technology that is here to stay in 2015, and the movement toward it will become more prominent.
But what will be the absolute key to a successful mobile solution? According to Nidugondi, user experience, context awareness and universality will be the benchmarks by which every mobile money deployment will be judged.
“The user experience has to be compelling, convenient and cost-effective and the context awareness, intelligent and customized.”
To better understand Nidugondi’s perspective on where mobile payments are going and the role social networking, technology, context, security and more will play along the journey, download the full e-book below.