Mobile Commerce

Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing started with sms advertising, and with the introduction of customized mobile browsers, sponsored ads made its debut on internet enable hand-held devices. Sms marketing include sending ads messages containing back-link to the advertiser’s website, or short-code numbers, for message recipients to route their action response. Though unsolicited for, this marketing method has been effective and endure.

While the crude sms marketing method persist, web developers borrowed from it’s alert innovation to device more acceptable sms notification, interfaced with e-mail listing  and other advert subscription, for the benefit of larger internet marketing. Sms notification have so far proven to be an efficient referral utility, that alert  suscribers of latest update on their favourite websites. Google, FaceBook and Twtter utilize sms alert notification on their platform to draw subscribers attention to latest development relating to individual subscriber’s interest.

Facebook and Twitter are websites known for dynamic page updates culture, where subscribers update or communicate with friends and followers on the social networks. The seize-less flurry of communication activities on social networks are mostly done via mobile phones and smart hand-held devices. This attribute of mobile devices, and population of mobile phone users, makes mobile marketing indispensable marketing strategy for entrepreneurs with internet presence, to leverage on it’s advantage and stay ahead of their competitors. Retailers are now kin on displaying their products on the popular social networks platform for visitors followership. Any social community members, kin about receiving instant notification of updates on their favourite websites, willingly submit their phone numbers on the personal data page of the social network site, for the free service.

Apps vendors, Job Vacancy portals, Telecom Operators, Social Media Network, including professional motivators, and many more service providers uses sms campaign to back-link potential customers to their websites, or inspired recipients to take action, using supplied short-code route via sms service. There is hardly any online entrepreneurs, big or small, with aggressive business drive mind-set, that can afford to neglect the social network platform. In fact, there is hardly, an online business, that’s not connected to at least two or more of these social network websites either, as advertiser for aggressive mobile marketing campaign drive in their businesses.

Sponsored Ads, is advertising solution that entail photo display of products with short descriptive message. This advertisement was in the past, view on TV as motion pictures and static in print media. Online, internet marketing are view on large screen internet device. But the story is different today, as smart mobile devices are now enable on customized browsers, to display product photos with descriptive contents. Well package products display attract attention more than contents. It has the power to impress visitors to take spontaneous look-and-feel click-through action, especially on mobile set. And since every click action has it’s cost, the publishers and marketers are smiling, as they make money from every click-through to  advertiser’s website, irrespective of whether the visitors make purchases or not. Mobile marketing have thus, in space of time, turned a gold mine for the marketing industry.

Entrepreneurs are always on the look-out for where to shift attention in a trending environment. The orientation now is that, internet enabled smart devices have become a companion tool in the hands of people that seek latest information, at any point in time. These web surfers are seen by internet marketers and online entrepreneurs as veritable audience, possibly convertible to customers. And the best strategy to adopt is to integrate customized mobile application into their website.

Findings by internet marketing research firms have been concurrent in their submission that, there is growing determination in the ranks of enterprenuers with internet presence, of desire, to leverage their businesses on the advantage of mobile marketing growing popularity. A recent Facebook activities and financial report and some others led credence to this assertion.

Mobile sponsored ads borrowed from the click-through campaign program of the likes of Google’s AdSense program. For instance, in the social network platform, the publisher, i.e. Facebook, scan the the personal data of it’s members to determine what ads to display on their pages to attract favourable response. Websites with visible stats, are also helping their business in making extra profit from mobile marketing on their sites by customizing their web pages for ads publication on small screen devices.

To discernible business mind, considering the multitude follower-ship of Facebook, Twitter including similar other social media network, such platform are unavoidable. Facebook, Twitter, PInterest and Instagram are hubs of commercial activities for retailers to partner the publishers for advertisement of their wares on pages of potential customers that subscribe with these publishers. Streamlined ads, displayed on social network members’ pages work so well for PPC mobile marketing campaign, as products display are relevant and tend to be eye-catching, and tempting to click, even when one is not ready to take action immediately.

Considering the hundreds of millions of individuals and the business community world-wide that log-on to the internet via mobile devices, from all part of the world, one cannot agree less with experts submission that it’s only a matter of time for mobile marketing dominance of e-commerce advertising.

Mobile Commerce

Mobile Browsing

Mobile browsing is, using WAP enabled hand-held device for internet surfing or searching. Over times, hi-tech mobile gadgets are being churned out by manufacturers for convenient browsing experience. Web browsing started with Personal Computers (PCs). But improved technology have extended web surfing beyond the bulky PC and Laptop, to more compact and easy to carry around, hand-held devices.

Mobile browsing is complimenting the flow of information communication that was hitherto, practicable only on PCs and Laptops. On the average, people now prefer searching or surf the net, using internet enabled hand-held devices which, aside from its light weight advantage, is also relatively affordable to acquired. The mobile phone market is full of low-priced, but yet complete with feature menus required for internet browsing.

Today, featured phones and smart devices are vastly used for information sharing, gaming and entertainment especially, among the youth, compare with computer usage world-wide. People are no longer waiting to reach their homes or offices to access information or purchase online any more. They are going for devices that gives them instant access at any point in time, irrespective of their locations. This explains reason for surge in sales volume of hand-held devices like: iPhone, iPad, Tablets and such other smart phones, that are easily palm around or carried in the pocket.

Mobile Browser
WAP enabled mobile phones comes with built-in browsers. The system browsers are expensive to run, but operates well on mobile phone with large memory. Mobile phones with low memory capacity, often experience difficulties in opening large web pages, using built-in browsers. This often result to loss of useful data charges.

Mobile phone manufacturers in addressing the short-coming of low storage capacity of mobile phones, introduce memory card in their modernized devices. Hence all mobile devices now comes with card memory with large storage space, in addition to increased memory capacity in some phone model. Also browser developers, came up with mobile browser applications, customized to fit the screen size of mobile devices. For memory space conservation, downloaded mobile browsers are better save in card memory in mobile phone with low memory capacity.

In mobile browsing, these mini browsers handles large web page structure effectively. It compresses the page contents to fit the mobile device screen, with provision for page zooming to readable size in columns. Opera is a leading browser developer, developing customizable browsers across all the operating system platform. While Window Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome are noted for browsers customized for smart devices using Android, iOS and Window operating system.

Browsing on a 3G, 4G or WiFi network service gives pleasant fast loading and experience, with a resulting original page content themes of website visited, and comparable with that obtained on PC or laptop window. The browsers also comes with economic technology that give data cost savings advantage.

Social Network and Business Advantage
Appetite for mobile browsing have assumed an addictive dimension in the ranks of the youths world-wide, begging for positive exploitation. There are multitude of intellectual forums and technology applications developed for mobile devices for the benefit of all. One such forum is educational program where students can subscribe, for their education advancement.

It is also a medium widely use today for social interaction on popular platforms like, Facebook and Twitters and, in the entertainment world. There is hardly, life aspect related topic that is not available online for discourse or download. All that is required of the curious minds is, identify and search for the relevant community, and be part of the forum for the purpose of information sharing.

Effect of mobile device as browsing tool for searching and surfing the net, is also having its impact on the world business perspective, in areas like; business transaction, marketing and basic office routing practice. The business environment is gradually embracing the mobile transaction and marketing as complimentary strategies to further business exposure, for the awareness of online consumers. This is in line with economics theory that described, consumers as king, in a market situation where the manufacturers studied potential customers behavior to strategize their business marketing plan.

As a result, business transactions via smart devices is on the increase by the day, as people do more of their web browsing on hand-held devices. Big time retailers are increasingly, launching different types of customized mobile payment applications to fortify their established online retail markets for maximum gain. The merchants recognized that, potential consumers drift in the direction of mobile commerce

Mobile Browser
Mobile browser window showing compressed BBC News web page.

is real. Therefore, transaction over the internet via mobile phones and smart devices is asserting itself.

In the developed economy, consumers are on top of the market dictates, as they search for the trendy retailers with whom they do their shopping right on the mobile devices. They want to be able to do their purchases or get services done at minimum effort of few clicks on their mobile sets. Mobile browsing for goods or services transactions, especially of intangible products like digital downloadable, is a common phenomenon. Reservation booking, orders for eatery services, e.t.c, are few among other transactions that can be initiated via mobile browsing.

Mobile System and Browsing Security
Secure mobile browsing and safety of mobile device system from data theft and virus attack, during transaction is a recurrent issue that’s being address very often, just as in the case of computer and laptop handling. Some mobile device may come with pre-installed anti-virus applications for a trial period, while others are not secured from the factory. The good news is that, most mobile device manufacturers partnered anti-virus developers, to cross-sell their protective software apps on the device brand storefront. Examples of such brand stores include, Nokia Store and Apple Store e.t.c. Alternatively, reliable anti-virus software are easily obtainable for download online, for the devices protection.

And in online transactions, a mobile payment platform is expected to meet required standard, as contained in the PCI DSS rule, before it is approved for payment gateway operation. The bankers consortium, that forms the data security regulatory body, is abreast of the threat pose by the cyber criminals, and is poised to protect valuable information of card owners during payment transactions. Similarly, internet security technologists are unrelenting, as they recognised cyber crime threat, as a dynamic phenomenon. Collaboration of efforts among experts is unending, as they share knowledge and ideas to combat the evil of internet criminality in order to make the cyber space a safe haven to utilize.

Downward trend feedbacks on internet fraud, and history of tremendous success of online retail trading, as reported by research firms, is engendering optimism in business entrepreneurs, prompting a gradual acceptance of mobile payment option on their online retail shops.

Mobile Commerce

Mobile Payment

Mobile payment or (m-payment) is an extension of e-payment technology, customized for mobile devices, described in ‘m-money’ for banking and sundries transactions. It is a payment technology that retail merchants cannot afford to ignore, but latch onto, to boost consumers patronage of their online businesses for maximum returns.

Pointer to the fast growing confidence of online merchants in this payment method, is evidence in the rate at which, high-profile marketplaces vendors are developing, customized m-payment software applications on their business stables complimenting, other e-payment options for consumers convenience.

In a recent publication, posted on Reuters newsletter of August 6 2012, by one Adam Blair; it was reported that, eBay is currently test-running its newly developed “eBay Now” software. The application is described as, “Same-day Mobile Delivery” software. Motive behind this development is not unconnected with moves to counter, Amazon.com rapid “Distribution Centers” which was said to be on the increase.

eBay now operation is being tested on iPhone and i Pad devices, is hinged on “Pay on Delivery” basis. Registered consumers browse online, from the installed apps on their mobile devices for goods in affiliate stores then, click a “Bring It” button at the store, where the desire items is located. The click action, relay an order signals to closest courier service partner, who in turn, approach a nearest partner store to lift the items, for onward delivery to the customers residence.
Payment is made on delivery by the customer upon satisfaction, either on the Apple device of the courier which is enabled for the service or, on the consumers own device.

The report above illustrate collaborative efforts at play, in the entrenchment of mobile payment solution in e-payment system. A high profile marketplaces operator, collaborating with software developers, with a view to outsmart other niche competitors in the game, for the soul of online retail market.

This development is a rapid growing phenomenon in e-commerce environment world-wide. In fact, it is being predicted that mobile payment system will outpace the e-commerce payment system in near future. Thus, small and medium scale online retailers are not lying low on this development.

While the big marketplaces operators can singularly, afford the re-engineering of their payment gateway technology interface to accommodate the mobile payment solutions, smaller entrepreneurs are not left out.

Google Wallet is one of notable world focus, e-payment solution, applicable on mobile devices and Laptop/PCs, customized to meet the online payment needs of small and medium scale businesses. Mobile payment system works the same way e-commerce payment operate. Smart phone or mobile device is use to browse the internet, using the set to in-put relevant cards data and personal information at the storefront payment page.

Yet, there is other simple and moderate mobile payment option, targeted at both the banked and under-banked society, for greater business penetration and profit taken. This payment option allow subscribed customers to pay for services through direct deductions from costumer’s mobile phone credit. This payment option is especially good in recurrent payment for services rendered on mobile devices.

For instance, I use Netqin anti-virus software service for protection against virus attack on my smart phone, including anti-theft and secure online payment services. Payment for this service is settle via my mobile line account on monthly basis. All that is required is, enough credit on the mobile line to pay as when due.

As due date approach, the system generated an automated reminder message, for the subscribers regularization of their subscription, for the service continuation. The message include an Authorization Button, meant to initiate deductions approval signals when clicked, informing the telecom operators, whose network the subscribers uses, to deduct an appropriate amount from the mobile line credit, payable to the service provider.

In a quest to satisfy consumers tastes in the mobile  market, mobile phone industries continue to improve on the device technology, to accommodate the emerging trend in the market. Various brands of simplify and easy to use, smart phones and mobile devices is by the day, launched in the market to consumers delight. This development arises as a necessity because, most mobile payment technology are centered around smart mobile phones and hand-held gadgets. The components assembled in manufacturing these devices, are compressed into a miniature, fashioned after a minicomputer, for convenient internet browsing.

Hence today, we have in the market, Hi-tech products of; Apples (iPad and iPod), Nokia series, Samsung smart phones and Android products, design to operate on iOS, Symbian, and Android system technologies, competing a fierce battle for the dominance of mobile device market world-wide.

One pronounced factor, influencing the growth in mobile payment, is the ever-increasing ratio of internet browsers on mobile devices, right from the developing countries, on to, the developed world populace, compared to the use of laptop or PC for browsing presently. Thus, attention for gadgets shopping is rapidly tilting, in the direction of smart mobile devices, as regards online browsing and e-payments.

Today, digital purchases and payments, are possible via smart hand-held mobile devices. Downloadable digital products like; e-books, entertainment, media and numerous software applications, are easily purchase online and paid for through mobile devices. Also, tangle goods can be ordered and paid for on the move, right on a mobile gadget effortlessly, such that, smart people around the world, are beginning to abandon their laptops purely for use only for cumbersome office work tasks.

Mobile Commerce

Mobile Banking

Mobile payment app. showing service menu list.

Mobile Banking enables one perform the basic banking needs, without stepping the four walls of a bank. From a simple feature mobile phone to the smart mobile devices, one can accomplish most of his or her banking transactions safely from anywhere, and away from the prying eyes of unauthorized third-party. All that is required is, subscription for the mobile money (M-Money) service with a participating bank.

For the apps installation on mobile phone, the software is either SMS to customers phone line, or downloaded at the banks website,  installed and activated in the customers mobile device. The banking industry and payment service providers partnered, to establish mobile payment platform for banking sundry services, and e-payment solutions via mobile devices. With an enabled mobile device, you are able to initiate:

  • Account Balance Inquiry
  • Transactions History
  • Transfer Money
  • Settle Utility Bills
  • Payment Authorization
  • Cheque and Bank Draft request
  • Mobile Phone Top-up

These transactions and more, are made possible on availability of mobile network and internet connectivity. Meaning that, the system utilize both SMS and the Internet; a service provided by, Internet Service Providers (ISP).

Barring any operational variations by banks and e-payment providers, in the application format of their m-money service, and permission to use my banks procedure, the following highlight some of the underlying benefits derivable in mobile banking service:

Money Transfer: An enabled mobile phone is capable of initiating money transfer between accounts within a bank, and into accounts in different banks. Money can also be transfer to phone lines via SMS where, the beneficiaries do not operate any bank accounts. In this case, the beneficiaries simply approach a Mobile Money Agent in the locality to cash his or her money.

Account Balance: You have the opportunity to constantly check your account balance, to be abreast of your account position at any point in time.

Transaction History: In addition to checking account balance, m-banking also afford you the opportunity to view and save, most recent transactions log or history of your account. Regular checks on account transactions history, help forestall possible cases of fraudulent activities on bank accounts. Use SMS for retrieval of your accounts transaction record, where disputable transactions on an account is noticed for prompt alert to your banker.

Payment Authorization: Payment authorization can be initiated on your phone, for issued cheques above a specified amount limit. The same channel can equally be use to stop payment on an issued cheque.

Make Requests: You can request for, or top cheque booklet or Bank Draft issuance via your m-banking enable set. Such request serve as prior notice to ones banker to initiate issuance process of the bank cheque, pending the time the requested item will be ready for collection at the customers convenience.

Top-Up: An enabled m-payment phone comes with Top-up facility for airtime recharge on the phone line, and third-party mobile phones at anytime of the day.

Finally, mobile banking service is simple, interactive, and easy to operate right from the service set up. Either current or saving accounts or both may be register for mobile money service. At registration, each bank account is allocated a  unique Virtual Account Number link, for the mobile payment activation. And as obtain in ATM card issuance for secured transactions, Personal Identification Number (PIN), is always required at every transactions or inquiry in all m-banking transactions. In all, mobile payment service is undoubtedly secure to use from anywhere, and saves time. The argument remains, whether the m-payment solution will not surpass other e-payment platform in the near future.

Mobile Commerce

Mobile Money

Mobile phone have become a versatile tool in commerce field today. Mobile Money means: making mobile banking transactions, pay for goods purchase, settle utility bills and more, all through a mobile phone. Your mobile phone serves as money wallet with which you can pay, electronically at sales outlets for goods purchased, while you use your electronic card to withdraw cash at ATM points, only where essential to use hard currency.

Financial institution and payment service providers are in collaboration, to provide banking services solution via installed application on mobile phones, capable of rendering banking services and e-payment solution via SMS and  internet medium. Similarly, mobile payment (m-payment), provide alternative e-payment option, at online store front and offline, where debit card is use via mobile phone to pay for goods and services. Basically, these are in line with e-commerce payment process. The difference being that, mobile payment is done via mobile phone. It makes business sense for online merchants, to integrate mobile payment option alongside other e-payment solution in their retail storefronts for inclusion of customers that often browse the internet on mobile devices.

Recent survey by a research firm, Kony Solutions Inc., published in mobile version of  MarketWatch.com revealed that, mobile device is getting prioritized attention of business organizations world-wide. The survey indicate a constant search by entrepreneurs, for mobile solutions, that will aid and improved clients experience on their business platform. Majority of the respondents agreed on the need for relevance on update for inclusion of mobile devices access to their business platform, to remain in the forefront of development in their business environment.

Mobile device manufacturers have continue to redefine mobile device brands to meet market demand. This improvement is to the delight of the banking institutions, payment service providers (PSP) and entrepreneurs. Just as the internet service providers (ISP) complete the border-less trade circle.

Mobile money comes with apps that offer an array of features to services the needs of bank clients, and to the advantage of online entrepreneurs. To the banking institutions, doing banking transaction by customers without visiting the bank, means reduction of work load of the day-to-day operation. Similarly, merchants with business presence on the internet, cannot afford to be left out of the mobile payment solution, if they desire their business growth and high returns on their investment.

Mobile payment is an expedient solution for businesses concerned about relevance in competitive environment, because the technology simplify and added greater benefit to commerce activities globally. It is now unnecessary for individuals with busy schedule, to go to the bank for money deposit to relations account or for settling utility bills of service providers, when he has a mobile wallet in his phone that will do the job. So much is packaged into mobile money system that, a lot of time is save for other importance schedule of a busy and focus minded personality.

So far, all that were discussed have centered solely on the formal sector of an economy. But mobile money equally accommodate the informal sector of the economy.  The ability to utilize SMS service of mobile phone in mobile payment, makes the system the simplest form of electronic payment, and advantageous over other e-payment solution. This explain why, developing and emerging economy countries in Africa and Asia, are embracing the mobile payment system in their quest for a cash-less economy society.

Most countries with high level of illiteracy, experiences high population of people with no access to bank. This category of people mostly dominated the informal sector of an economy, go about their businesses in predominantly cash-base environment that is prone to high risk level. Mobile payment system provisioned, a novel banking operation system, targeted at mopping up the excess cash circulating in the informal economy sector.

Agents are recruited by the banking institutions, and payment service providers involved in the mobile money operation to serve the interest of those people in the informal business sector that own no any bank account. These agents are keyed in strategically located areas, where they can easily be access by the local populace with no bank accounts, for money savings, withdraw or send money to someone when they want to. The mobile payment agents serve as the bankers of these local people as they represent the banks and payment service providers.

Mobile Commerce

Mobile Commerce

Mobile commerce (m-commerce) is the ability to conduct business transactions between, sellers and buyers or business partners, using mobile devices and the internet connectivity medium. It is a replication of e-commerce process operable on mobile devices. Merchants all over the world are fast merging this new phenomenon, with their existing e-commerce business to maintain their online business relevance and increase customer base.

Mobile phone in-road to commerce activities date back to 1997, according to Wikipedia. It started with companies and financial institutions accepting payment via SMS. Digital downloadable contents directly into mobile phone gradually gained prominence. These and other development like social networking, which hand-held devices like phone proved capable of delivery, became a watershed culminating in the commercialization of mobile commerce.

The new status assume by mobile devices resulted in introduction of smart phones in the market and evolution of other smart gadgets to satisfy customers personality tastes. Webmasters, programmers and application developers where also quick in providing applicable solutions and web structures adaptable to the screen size of mobile gadgets. Today it is easy to search online and download free web browsers, designed to compress web contents to fit mobile phone screen. Also internet security applications for mobile device protection are available for download online. Book readers and office tools applications completes the criterion of preference, for smart phone and mobile gadgets, as devices of choice over laptop while in motion.

The customized innovation development brought into mobile devices, simplifying web surfing experience and its ability to perform office work from anywhere gives mobile commerce an unfettered acceptability to the business world. It is common now, to find people clutching to their iPad, PDA or smart phone with Qwerty facility for office work in place of laptop. Business is no longer restricted to the office only. Business partners can interact conveniently, while on the move from their mobile devices. Today, office works hitherto performed on PC or Laptop are now conveniently carried out on smart phone and other mobile gadgets.

With surge in the drift towards mobile commerce, mobile phone manufacturers have continually step-up designs of sophisticated pocket size, smart phone models and easy to carry around mobile devices like iPad and tablet series, capable of performing commercial business activities while on the move. With internet connectivity, business transactions is made easy for online merchants and for internet shopping via smart mobile devices by consumers.

Mobile commerce enable transactions such as:

and many more services, practicable on smart devices. The transformation of mobile device role, couple with the increasing number of mobile phone users world-wide, make it imperative for businesses with presence on the internet, to embrace m-commerce to remain relevant and increase business exposure in the world market.

The youths are also actively involve, particularly in the area of education, social networking and entertainment.  Audio and visual music and film download are prominent features that youth engaged in. Online social interaction across the numerous social networks sites are pass time hobby of the youths. The ever increasing number of mobile device users across the globe makes the prospect of mobile commerce, a rallying point for the device manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders to pull resources together for maximum advantage derivable.