Security issues remain for mobile purchases

On December 1, eMarketer predicted that mobile commerce (mcommerce) sales would reach $6.7 billion this year - a 91.4 percent increase over 2010. Researchers also suggested that in 2012, sales will reach $11.6 billion, or another 73 percent rise. By 2015, mcommerce sales are projected to reach $31 billion.

"There's no question that mobile commerce is growing at a fast clip," said eMarketer principal analyst Jeffrey Grau. "And mobile acts as an engine of overall ecommerce growth, by converting potential brick-and-mortar sales to digital sales as consumers use their smartphones while shopping in-store."

EMarketer also predicts that 37.5 million consumers ages 14 and older will make at least one mcommerce purchase in 2012, while 72.8 million mobile users will research or browse items on their phones.

However, MarketingLand notes that while it is true people are using smartphones and tablets to look at items online, a much smaller percentage are actually completing purchases via mobile apps. The news source cites well-known vendors Amazon and eBay as the only two sites that actually saw significant mobile purchases this year, while consumers remain wary of security issues on smaller, lesser-known pages.

One reason for their success? They likely already have consumers' credit cards on file from previous purchases, notes Internet2Go. Amazon and eBay have created trust in their brands so mobile users feel comfortable buying items off their sites. But for smaller businesses where a long registration process is required, trust becomes a greater issue.

The advent of Google's Mobile Wallet may eventually change this adoption if near-field communication becomes more robust, but for now consumers are still wary of the concept.

For example, a study conducted in 2011 by Retrevo found that out of 1,000 respondents, only 21 percent were interested in making purchases via a mobile wallet, while 79 percent weren't interested or didn't even know what the technology was.

Mcommerce convenience is also an issue. Typing 16 digits on a tiny keypad into a phone can be troublesome for some, even on the largest of screens. MarketingLand points to one technology that could make things easier on mobile users called Card.io, which allows people to snap an actual picture of their credit cards which is scanned and integrated into the site they're on.

Internet2Go calls Card.io a "potential gamechanger" in the mcommerce field, and says it has a chance to succeed because it won't be competing with Google Wallet directly. 

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