Many consumers are willing to adopt mobile payment options to reduce the time they have to spend in queues at the checkout counters. With the spread of smart phones and other mobile devices, consumers are ready to leave their wallets behind as they shop during this holiday season. However, US retailers have yet to install the processing systems that will enable them.
US retailers are still in a wait and watch mode as far as mobile payment technology is concerned. They are unwilling to invest in new technology until a clear winner emerges from the various mobile payment options currently available. The only exception to this trend is Starbucks that has decided to tie up with Square and introduce mobile payment in its outlets to eliminate queues and enable faster processing of payments.
“Everyone’s trying to find the right way to make (mobile payments) easy and no one’s found it yet. No one has the secret sauce,” said Mark Belford, the managing director and co-head of the consumer and retail investment banking group of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, at the Reuters Retail and Consumer Summit, New York.
While brick-and-mortar retailers have yet to implement robust mobile payment technology online retailers have benefited from just such a move.
For instance, the HSN Chief Executive, Mindy Grossman, said that mobile sales in the past six months at HSN have more than doubled that of the entire previous year. This kind of growth rate for mobile sales prompted Grossman to say, “I still see people looking at their e-commerce strategy and saying mobile comes later. Actually, it should be the opposite.“
However, consumers will not have to wait for long before mobile payments become common as Wal-Mart, Target, Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, and Foot Locker among others have started working toward implementing mobile payment solutions. Some have already started developing their solutions while others are still investigating the options, but the momentum is likely to build up soon.