Five quick observations on successful mobile payment tech

Alex Walls
May 21, 2013

Don’t bet on people who were young adults in the millenium to make your mobile payment technology stick.

At the Future of Mobile Payments conference, The Futures Company director of strategic futures Andrew Curry said companies which succeeded in the mobile payment space, or had technology which ‘won’, were companies which managed to provide some of the five advantages identified by Everett Rogers as factors which made a successful innovation, from a consumer point of view: relative advantage (how improved it is over a previous device), compatibility, simplicity, observability (are other people using the device) and trialability (how easy an innovation is to experiment with).

Mr Curry outlined five quick observations about mobile payment technology which ‘won’:

1) Don’t bet on millenials to make mobile payment technology stick

While ‘millenials’ or young adults use their mobiles more, research showed they were not that distinctly different from the rest of the population, as some used mobile technology a lot and some not so much, Mr Curry said.

2) Own the functional niche

3) Create a reliable brand assocation

For instance, MacDonalds, where people got it into their heads that they could do specific things at these locations. “If I’m in this location, I can use my mobile phone.   So actually, it works because people expect it to work.”

4) Build a specific customer base

5) Have attitude

Some of the niches in the market weren’t just about function, but were about attitude, Mr Curry said. Bitcoin was beginning to be used as currency rather than as a gimmick in places where people did not trust the government very much, he said.

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