LAS VEGAS —The stark reality about mobile commerce is that for it to happen on smartphones it almost certainly will require one-click buying, mainly because of the difficulty of inputting data on small devices.
That was the jumping-off point for a lively Money2020 panel on Wednesday, moderated by Javelin Strategy + Research executive vice president Mary Monahan, who said, “The impediment to m-commerce is data entry. We need to make it really simple to authenticate the user and for the user to buy. Then it will happen.”
The analogy is to the one-click purchasing Amazon popularized long ago in e-commerce, and the panel’s suggestion is that for m-commerce to gain users, a similar, one click and buy tool will be needed.
Is that insecure?
Bill Ready, CEO of payments company Braintree – acquired last month by PayPal for $800 million in an all-cash deal – said that a problem is that “many don’t understand that it no longer has to be a trade-off between convenience and security. The broader payments industry still thinks that if it easy to pay it has to be insecure, but that is not true.”
Another impediment: “People are trying to protect their piece of the payments pie and this slows everything,” said Rodger Desai, CEO of Payfone, a New York company focused on creating and authenticating mobile identities. That is: turf wars among m-commerce players have slowed a broader push for innovation.
One fact, according to Ready: “Although there is a lot of conversation about it, I think it is highly unlikely that existing payments players will go away. We are unlikely to get rid of the existing payments networks. What we will see is innovation on top of those rails.”
As for the biggest hurdle thus far for m-commerce, Pali Bhat, a product manager at Google, said, “Besides questions around security, the biggest challenge is gaining ubiquity. If I can use a mobile wallet in just one place, it’s not that useful. I want to use it everywhere. That, to me, is the biggest barrier today.”