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Mobile Payments and eCommerce

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Image by TheTruthAbout… via Flickr

As we try to play ecommerce catchup at the company work for, every article I see about ecomm, electronic payments and mobile payments catch my eye.  Here is a great article about mobile payments I found at Caleb Elston’s blog called “Are Mobile Payments the Next Big Thing?

Given the option between buying something at a brick and mortar store or online, I choose online 9 times out of 10. Yet, for all the benefits of buying online, there is still one major annoyance…checkout. I hate checkout flows. No matter how much sites work to simplify and streamline the process, the simple fact remains…they suck. There are dozens of fields to meticulously fill out, lest you wish to be slapped in the face with errors or worse, have the transaction be “flagged for review” sentencing it to customer service purgatory.

He’s right – online checkout stinks.  And is hard.  And we (as developers, retailers and the like) make it so.

I posted about AT&T and my iPhone bill pay.  Basically AT&T allows you to pay all your bills via an slick and easy iPhone app or text message.  That’s it – super simple, super quick and super convenient.  And why should other online options be different.

He makes another great point about how easy mobile pay could be:

Paying by mobile is easy. You enter your phone number, wait for a text message, then either respond with ‘y’ or enter a special code included in the text (varies by provider). And that’s it. When I pay by credit card I pull out my wallet every time. I simply can’t remember my credit card number, expiration date, and security for all three of my cards. But, I can remember my seven digit phone number. This removes even more friction from the process.

This will definitely taint my thinking as we move into a better online payment experience – so I’ll try to keep you up to date with out progress.

Given the option between buying something at a brick and mortar store or online, I choose online 9 times out of 10. Yet, for all the benefits of buying online, there is still one major annoyance…checkout. I hate checkout flows. No matter how much sites work to simplify and streamline the process, the simple fact remains…they suck. There are dozens of fields to meticulously fill out, lest you wish to be slapped in the face with errors or worse, have the transaction be “flagged for review” sentencing it to customer service purgatory.
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