With Christmas just around the corner, that only means one thing – shopping (well, and dining out, company drinks and playing a strangely high number of board games). With schemes like Black Friday and Cyber Monday expected to smash all previous records, will mobile payments play a significant role during the Christmas season?

Mike Crooks, head of innovation, spoke to Mobile Ecosystem Forum, along with other industry leaders, about proximity payment and the role of mobile as the heart of an omni-channel retail experience.

“Retailers are struggling with their backend systems and linking up the customer journey, making implementing beacon engagements a challenge for many. In terms of proximity payments, the tech limitations are still there and there are better and easier ways to make payments. The only company that is really succeeding here is Starbucks, but even then, they are limiting it to a select few stores, for now.”

“Consumers are just coming to terms with mobile payments, which has required a fair amount of education. Retailers should be asking whether proximity payments actually help solve any problems. On the one hand, they make life easier for customers if they can walk into a shop or food venue and pick up what they’ve ordered quickly. Yet, that also requires these venues to hire or assign employees who are focused on preparing the products for customers to pick up and verifying that it’s the right customer,” said Mike.

To read the rest of Mike’s insight as well as from the other thought leaders on the Mobile Ecosystem Forum, click here.

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