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Convergence is key for the future of mobile payments

By Shane Leahy, CEO of Tola Mobile

From the payments sector to the world of marketing, many industries have been investing both time and money into mastering the art of convergence in recent years. This form of development, which demands continuous synergy between different sectors and technologies, now accounts for much of the disruption of businesses worldwide.

Shane Leahy

Shane Leahy

This disruption is now, however, producing immense success across the board. Many of today’s most innovative and unique product propositions are the result of combining multiple solutions from various sectors, all working together to generate new business offerings and improve efficiency. One of the most sought-after types of convergence amongst businesses today is with mobile payments technology, which has contributed to a huge shakeup in the way consumers interact with services and complete transactions.

Convergence and mobile payments 

Mobile payments technology itself stems from the convergence of mobile, payments technology and telecommunications, unified to create an unprecedented solution which caters to the convenience demanded by modern consumers and streamlines the payment process for merchants. This technology has not only revolutionised the payments sector, but is now a driving force behind the innovation of other industries, as companies increasingly look to diversify their products and create a seamless consumer experience.

In today’s business landscape, effective integration with mobile payments technology is becoming ever more vital; its versatility enables merchants and services of all types to advance their own payment solutions and capture their share of the market. Now more than ever, companies are reversing the traditional ‘data first, payments second’ model and adopting payment-led strategies to ensure simple and fast transactions above all else. Convergence with mobile payments has been at the forefront of this transition for many services worldwide, and now this payment method is predicted to generate $1,080bn in revenue globally by 2019[1].

However, this relationship now inevitably means that mobile payment providers must maintain such high rates of convergence with others to continue their own growth. The good news is that advancements in technology are always creating new business opportunities which need to be monetised. Yet for mobile payments providers, they must now also think up new ways to advance their own offerings, to streamline the payment process for consumers, attract new partners and encourage further collaboration.

Creating compelling solutions 

In a world where technology is rapidly evolving and encouraging new players into every market, diversifying your product proposition has never been more crucial. Mobile payments providers are therefore constantly advancing and adapting their platforms, in order to continue their own growth and open up their services to more potential partners.

Mobile payments companies are now offering businesses a myriad of new ways to implement mobile payment strategies at all stages of a customer journey, whether it be an SMS-verified payment from a mobile wallet or a QR code payment embedded within an app. Yet the rising calls for convergence between services now mean that many partners are equally dependent on one another to drive developments which offer benefits for each business.

With more organisations integrating mobile technology into their payment models every day, it is now critical that all parties are able to work closely to combine their individual products and create compelling solutions which allows them to fully thrive within their market. By bringing together multiple solutions from both mobile payments providers and the companies implementing their technology in this way, more revolutionary services will be developed and businesses will be able to own the entire journey of their customers, whilst laying the foundations for future integration with other services and products.

A collaborative approach

Huge movements towards a more collaborative approach are already being made across other vertical markets such as hospitality and retail, where mobile payments are helping merchants to build their services and offer consumers more simple and secure ways to transact.

Today, mobile payments are also enabling these merchants to continue driving sales over periods of low funds amongst consumers, which often occurs in the days leading up to payday. While this mainly benefits merchants, this feature makes the appeal of mobile payments even larger, which will inevitably attract more services. As a result, payments providers, network providers and new services are collectively entering new spaces to continue their expansion during this period of aggressive digitalisation and competition.

One of the most effective integrations with mobile payments to date is perhaps evident within the media sphere. In recent years, traditional media companies have been forced to digitalise to remain competitive and fill the gap left by outdated revenue streams. Converging with mobile payments providers has been instrumental to their transformation; it has enabled them to create solutions which allow readers to purchase content instantly and without leaving their device, offering a more frictionless experience and driving conversion rates.

However, working alongside companies which serve a range of customer needs is also helping the providers of mobile payments to bolster their own offerings and can, in many ways, ensure their products remain both elaborate and versatile enough to continue their convergence across various sectors.

In this increasingly digital age, companies are no longer able to thrive on their own capabilities alone. While convergence with mobile payments exists as just one way for businesses to develop unique solutions, it is certainly the key to streamlining payment processes and ensuring the growth of all businesses involved, and will undoubtedly play a critical role in enhancing the experience of consumers. If executed correctly, this form of development will prove invaluable for all of those involved.


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