Posted on Thursday 10 March 2016 by Ulster Business

Deloitte predicts ramp up in mobile payments

Paul Lee, centre, is pictured with Danny McConnell, partner at Deloitte NI and leader of the Technology Consulting business in Northern Ireland and Deloitte Digital technical lead Russell Beggs, who demonstrated one of the VR headsets currently on the market. 

Using cash, queuing in a shop or registering your payment details with multiple online retailers will soon become a thing of the past if the latest predictions from Deloitte are played out in the coming months.

Its technology gurus said the use of mobile touch commerce – which allows customers to make a secure payment on a mobile device, authorised through a fingerprint or a few touches of the screen, without having to provide registration – will see usage increase by 150% in 2016.

That was the assessment of the advisory firm’s Global Head of Research for the technology, media, and telecommunications (TMT) industry Paul Lee at a breakfast meeting in Belfast where he put the number of users of touch commerce will reach 50m worldwide this year.

“The world of mobile optimised checkout and ecommerce will accelerate this year given a huge improvement and adoption of payment technology,” he said.

Danny McConnell, lead technology partner at Deloitte in Belfast, said convenience and speed of the new ecommerce technology is a big draw for both consumers and retailers.

“Crucially, touch commerce reduces significantly the time taken from browsing to transaction on a mobile phone, to seconds rather than minutes.”

At present transactions on sites and apps remain scarce, with laborious payment processes often to blame.

Deloitte research showed “cart abandonment” in mobile commerce can be as high as 80% when users are asked to input their payment details but that laborious process will soon be a thing of the past.

“Submitting all these data on a computer with a full size keyboard is a chore. On a five-inch touch screen with predictive text in a mischievous mood and on a juddering bus it can be tortuous,” Danny McConnell said.  “Touch commerce removes the grit from mobile transactions, reducing the entire process to the application of a fingerprint or one or two touches of the screen.”

Mr Lee also predicted that broadband speeds will improve sharply in the coming months with gigabit speeds not uncommon.

He also expected a sharp rise in photo sharing and virtual reality gaming, but said the popularity of using a mobile phone to make voice calls will continue to decline.

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