How Digital Wallets Are Changing Retail Commerce

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A digital wallet refers to an electronic device that allows you to make on-line transactions or use your smart-phone to make purchases at a store.

The rapid proliferation of connected devices, especially mobile phones, has created unique opportunities to transform how we do commerce. With these new technologies making payments has become faster, more reliable and more secure.

Until now, there has been a sharp separation between online and offline purchases. The development of these digital wallets have started to blur these lines.

You can set up your digital wallet to better track your spending habits and send you push notifications when you go over budget or if it defects suspicious activity. Digital wallets also allow you connect devices together in unique ways. For example, if your smart fridge detects that you are out of milk, it can automatically purchase milk through your digital wallet and have it delivered to your home.

These are just some of the ways digital wallets are set to revolutionize commerce. To learn more about the world of emerging payments I sat down with Nicolas Dinh, Vice President of Mobile Payments at Mastercard to ask a few questions.

NicolasDihn

Arnov Rahman: How quickly are retailers in Canada adopting these new technologies? Will there be B2B applications?

Nicolas Dinh: When it comes to brick and mortar businesses, food and restaurant apps are ahead of the curve, while retailers are slower to adapt. Retailers are just starting to realize the value of mobile payments in helping to drive more revenue.

AR: What is the biggest value for a retailer implementing these solutions?

ND: Consumers can expect to expedite the checkout time, increasing customer convenience and satisfaction.

Mobile applications also offer a new channel to engage customers, allowing brands to build deeper relationships. Through the app, retailers can send notification when they are having a sale or promotion, or recommend products based on previous purchases. They can also update them about the latest news, and share interesting content.

AR: Are consumers driving or responding to this innovation?

ND: Emerging payments is a consumer driven trend. Consumers are looking for more efficient ways to pay for services they buy online and in store. Consumers are more connected then ever

AR: Are older demographics reacting well to changes?

ND: The majority of the adopters of new payment technologies tend to be millennials between 18-34. Older generations aren’t as comfortable with using their mobile devices for purchases.

AR: What kind of data is available and how does it integrate into existing ecommerce software such as SAP Hybris and other reporting tools?

ND: Businesses own their own transaction data and can customize it based on their business needs. MasterCard has open API where they can integrate consumer data into their own tracking and reporting software.

MasterCard has a program called “Spending Pulse” which aggregates anonymous user data to analyze consumer spending trends and provide insights. This information can be provided to B2B businesses.

AR: Do you see Internet of things (IoT) affecting payments?

ND: IoT will drive the growth of emergent payments. All connected devices including your car, phone, health-tracking wrist band, and watch can be used to make payments.

For example if you’re going for a run but don’t want to carry your bulky wallet you will be able to pay for products using a health tracking wrist band.

AR: What is the biggest challenge in B2B payments now?

ND: B2B businesses are very traditional with many still using cheques and bankwires. Change will have to be driven by payment processors putting pressure on these companies to innovate.

MasterCard is hoping to change this by making it easier to make digitized peer-to-peer payments. MasterCard is also making it mandatory than any supplier that signs up for their program must also accept new emerging payments technologies.

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Arnov Rahman

Arnov Rahman

Arnov is a Marketing Manager at SqueezeCMM, a B2B content marketing and analytics start up. He is fascinated by the intersection of technology, marketing, and people in the development of awesome products. He's into life-hacking, psychology, and data-science.