2018: The era of mobile commerce and e-payments

The new year will see the Indian marketplace transitioning to a mobile driven economy that will see an increase in electronic transactions.

IDG Staff Jan 09th 2018

Cell phones are becoming ubiquitous as different brands flood the Indian market. With various mobile payment options available consumers are increasingly using their devices to transact. The peanut vendor at the traffic signal or the fish seller might take some time to get there, but 2018 is poised for an m-commerce revolution in India. In sometime mobile payments will become commonplace. But then, are you geared to navigate a new transaction landscape?

Mobile payments is the way to go

Lack of available cash will no longer deter the street smart vendor in India. He could be an owner of a veggie handcart or a fish vendor, but he will offer his customers an option to transact electronically. Micro businesses like these are aware that consumers are increasingly using cell phones to make payments for goods and myriad services. They are also aware that consumers are attracted to electronic transactions due to the discounts or loyalty programs that come with them. Research by CAGR shows that by 2020 nearly 56 percent of consumers globally will prefer convenient mobile payment options moving forward. In emerging countries, the trend of paying via smart phones will increase by 25 percent. This also includes India, which has embraced digital technologies in a major way. Cashless economy is fuelling the rise of m-com in India with cashless payment options like Paytm becoming popular with smaller merchants.

How smartphone penetration is driving cashless payments

In the next three years, m-com will be the order of the day. QR based payments are already popular. Companies are likely to evolve a standard code that will work across the nation. QR code is already functional globally. A digital wallet, which pays the vendor, is already in use.  In India however this is a massive exercise as PoS is still under pressure for functional operations. As m-com gains momentum in India some of the trends we can anticipate include:

1. An app designed for making mobile payments for small merchants easier will make sure that consumers do not do only window shopping but also buy products through mobile payments.

2. Augmented reality will allow consumers to check out products before paying. This will affect the final decision to buy the product. That means vendors need to have a specific m-com strategy to provide interactive experiences to potential customers. This is exclusive to mobile payment.

3. B2B marketing channels have 70 percent of millennial using phones to do business. In India, 41 percent of such users buy the product after checking their smartphones. It is time to make the UI more connected to this user group.

4. Video content and multimedia on the phone screen will attract a huge number of users who exchange information online. The connectivity via mobile phones has already begun to show its impact. This means even SMEs will need to adapt to the new consumer habits.

It’s time you started working on your own roadmap to make the best out of the m-com opportunity that is unfolding. 2018 is the right year for you to start working on it.