As I discussed in previous blog posts, mobile apps and social media outlets have become a huge asset to the modern finance industry. Now, owners of smart mobile devices are able to accomplish a long list of finance-related tasks and obligations in a convenient, on-the-go manner, streamlining the entire process and making personal finance commerce a less stressful aspect of daily life.
One specific breakthrough in finance-based mobile technology is the growing advent of mobile commerce (m-commerce), or “the delivery of electronic commerce capabilities directly into the consumer’s hand, anywhere, via wireless technology.”
M-commerce has been prevalent since the term was coined in the late 1990s, but it has only blossomed amidst the smartphone revolution. Now, smartphone users are able to transfer money to a variety of recipients, from businesses to friends, at the push of a button.
New services aimed at convenience
Mobile apps such as Venmo and Google Wallet now facilitate expedited payment between smartphone users. Wireless transactions ultimately add convenience and efficiency to a variety of transaction scenarios, from restaurant bill splitting to Uber fare repayment. With this means of payment increasing in popularity, some merchants are beginning to leverage it as a means of increasing revenue and simplifying general payment approach. Additionally, mobile ATM units are growing in prevalence for similar reasons. These moveable units, which are wirelessly accessible, have seen an increase in use for special events where they may be needed, such as fairs, carnivals, or parades. These types of new and growing payment services reflect a mutual vision of making commerce easily accessible and quickly achieved, which in itself reflects the growing need for speedy, yet efficient delivery on the mobile technology front.
The future: Amazon and beyond
M-commerce growth has been a popular prediction for years now, and it has mostly lived up to these projections, surpassing its status as a mobile trend and growing into a full-fledged reimagination of the financial landscape. Aside from the increased emphasis on mobile repayment methods, m-commerce is currently in the process of redefining longstanding aspects of our society — namely grocery shopping and wholesale distribution. Perhaps the biggest example of this change is Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods, which exploited the fact that grocery shoppers are turning more and more to mobile devices to aid their shopping experience. Furthermore, Toys R’ Us’s recent bankruptcy stands as an added indication that, perhaps, the general public is moving on from commerce contingent on physical interaction all together.
With these notions in mind, expect m-commerce to become an even bigger presence in situations such as the aforementioned; its quick and convenient qualities have become undeniably coveted by a variety of industries focused on providing the best customer experience possible, and regardless, they seem to reflect a paradigm shift in consumer demand.