Smartphone uptake driving mobile commerce: Report

Retail landscape needs to keep up with technology, claims industry association

An increase in the proliferation of smartphone devices is fuelling an uptake in mobile commerce, the Australian Retailers Association has claimed.

In a report released today, titled "mCommerce: Secure Insight", the industry association said that the retail landscape is being altered by mobile devices with internet-enabled handsets.

Some 68 per cent of those surveyed said they planned to make mobile payments in the near future while PayPal reported that 10 per cent of its 3.6 million active customers completed transactions of their mobile devices in the last quarter of 2010.

Executive director of the Australian Retailers Association, Jennifer Cromarty, said the increase in mobile devices is throwing down the gauntlet to retailers to move with the times.

“It is time for Australian retailers to form strategies addressing multiple channels,” Cromarty said in a statement.

“The retail industry is evolving and retailers must move with it to both remain competitive and meet shifting consumer demands. Put simply, retailers must have a presence wherever their customers are – be they in store, online or on their mobile phones.”

Several financial institutions and smartphone manufacturers have continued to push for mobile-based payments. Visa recently announced a second trial of its contactless mobile payment technology with ANZ, while Apple is rumoured to be including near field communications technology - essential for mobile payments - in the next generation of the iPhone.

While there is an increase predicted for mobile commerce, the report found that one barrier to uptake is security of such transactions, with around half of Australians still remaining unconvinced that the security measures for mobile transactions are adequate.

The insights into the future of mobile commerce come as PayPal and eBay last month announced that its developer programs would be merged together.

Follow Lisa Banks on Twitter: @CapricaStar

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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Tags ecommercemobile payment

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