'Invisible' payments key to mobile success, says Braintree

Some companies still struggling to get mobile right, argues the payment processor's head of Asia

Making the payments process 'invisible' is an important part of what makes the mobile experience delivered by companies such Airbnb and Uber so effective, according to Tyson Hackwood.

Hackwood is the head of Asia for Braintree, a PayPal subsidiary that provides a payment processing platform and counts among its customers those two companies.

"When people are building for mobile, they're saying things like: Just give us your detail details once, don't make it laborious," Hackwood said.

With Uber, users just get out of the car to pay. The "checkout flow is all but invisible," Braintree developer advocate Alan Wong noted in a blog entry.

"For every second you spend in the checkout process, 12 per cent of people are disappearing," Hackwood said.

"So drops dramatically in mobile. What we've suggested is: Don't make payments a thing — you make payments invisible. You get the details once and let people check out without having to enter all that detail."

Figures included in a Deloitte Access Economics report produced on behalf of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association peg the value of so-called m-commerce in Australia at around $4 billion annually.

Other online retail is worth $12 billion annually, according to Mobile Nation: Opportunities and Strategies for Retail.

More than a quarter of online shopping purchases are via mobile, the report claimed.

And the proportion of Australians who have purchased a product on their smartphone is growing – up from 9.5 per cent in 2012 to 19 per cent in 2013.

"We're seeing a lot of mobile-only businesses grow," Hackwood said.

"What those businesses have said is: We actually will only have interaction with our clients, our merchants, our customers, whatever they're calling them, via a mobile experience," he said.

“That's a big call — but if you're running a service or if you've got certain products, it's not out of the question to think that your only experience is going to be a mobile experience."

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