The 2010/09/02 at 11:44
In fact, according to Gartner, over 100 million persons throughout the world are expected, in 2010, to use their mobile phones as payment methods. Especially in the Asia-Pacific region. The US analysis firm also predicts that the number of persons using their mobile phone as a payment terminal should leap up by 54.5% in 2010. According to Gartner, 70.4 million persons worldwide used their telephone to make payments in the past year. In other words, approximately as many as expected from the Asia-Pacific alone this year (62.8 million). The zone covering Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa should only tally 27.1 million users of the payment by mobile phone option. These figures are to be taken with a grain of salt, for the number of such users correspond to no more than 2.1% of owners of mobile phones throughout the world. What is clear, however, is that this evolution is inexorable. As a result, vendors are multiplying their mobile phone applications to optimise access to their online stores from smartphones, offering service whether clients are on the lookout for delivery pizza, air tickets or the latest electronic gadget. At the head of this list are Apple terminals (iPhone, iPod and iPad).
Traditional vendors, on the other hand, are also taking their revenge. With the help of editors such as Sterling Commerce or Elyon, which install their solutions on Apple terminals, a salesperson has a genuine electronic sales assistant: product advice, availability of the product in stock, payment… Everything is here. The terminals are embedded with the technological means to read bar codes, loyalty cards and bank cards. This is a handy aid allowing a salesperson to conclude a sale more easily when face to face with the client, as it is no longer necessary to leave the latter to proceed to the cash register alone to pay – a delicate stage at which a purchase may well be abandoned. Of course, information systems underlying these iPhones or iPods are linked to the brand’s global system, allowing sales statistics to be gleaned in real time. But on this territory, Sterling Commerce scores yet another point. When the purchaser wants a product not available in the store, the salesperson can nevertheless make the sale by consulting the brand’s logistical database and locating the same product in a nearby retail outlet. Even better, a link to Google Maps can show the quickest way to get there. Finally, the purchaser can even decide to get the product home delivered. All this, in the palm of your hand.