Barclays Bank has expanded its Pingit mobile m-payment and m-commerce application at Sibos 2013 by adding a new ‘mobile checkout’ feature which can tap into the associated ‘Buyit’ app, which allows consumers to purchase goods and services immediately while online, or via quick response (QR) codes while on the move.
The mobile m-payment solutions from Barclays are aimed at retail consumers and are intended to provide a fast, easy and secure way to pay for goods and services using the existing Pingit app platform, which has already been rolled out to smaller corporates.
According to Barclays the new ‘mobile checkout’ app is optimised for a mobile experience, with only a few clicks required to make an instant settlement via a ‘Pay with Barclays Pingit’ button. It eradicates the need for the entry of long or large amounts of personal details, which can be challenging and time consuming on small handsets, and encourages impulse buys by consumers and volume.
“For mobile enabled businesses, this is a great way to increase sales conversion by reducing payment input errors and increased consumer assurance at checkout,” says Mike Walters, head of UK corporate payments at Barclays. “For new players to the market, it is an easy, low risk way to enter into mobile m-commerce.”
The expanded Pingit range is entering a competitive marketplace with Zapp joining the crowded UK scene, with Ian Sayers, the ex-head of technology development at Barclays on board as chief technology officer (CTO) after he initially launched Pingit. There is also a shared UK-wide mobile m-payment service launching in the UK next year which is likely to further stimulate the marketplace, although Barclays decision to jump ahead of this shared platform and gain a head-start seems vindicated after the delays.
The earlier advent of the ‘buy it’ feature on Barclays’ Pingit app means consumers can buy products direct from an advert by scanning a QR code or otherwise respond to marketing material to gain loyalty reward points or access to special one-off offers. Pingit displays the product information, such as price, merchant information, delivery data and stock levels. Confirming these details enables a Barclays Pingit user to initiate an instant purchase, which can be delivered to a chosen address. Once confirmed, the customer receives a confirmatory SMS and email.
The theory is that businesses can transform their adverts into a highly accessible and convenient sales channel with added marketing traceability, while consumers gain convenience.
“Mobile commerce has grown more than 250% over the last two years and it is important that businesses provide consumers with a convenient and easy payment method through this channel,” explains Walters. “The ‘mobile checkout’ and ‘buy it’ apps can also play a significant role in increasing sales by improving the mobile customer experience, encouraging customers to complete their sale transaction.”
Research by Harris Interactive has shown that while 68% of mobile and tablet owners have tried to make a purchase on a mobile or tablet, as many as two-thirds of those have abandoned the purchase due to issues with the payment platform or transactional slowness. Many of the payment solutions in the market today have not been optimised for an m-commerce environment, claims Barclays, illustrating the need for their specific app.
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