Carphone Warehouse launches UK m-commerce services
UK retailer Carphone Warehouse (CPW) has begun deployment of its mobile payment service, based on the SimplyTap application developed by the Mobile Money Network (MMN). The service allows users to make purchases from participating retailers using alphanumeric codes, QR codes and image recognition, as well as online transactions from an in-app marketplace.
CPW is an investor in MMN, along with Monetise, Best Buy Europe and CPW founder Charles Dunstone, on board as a private investor. Visa Europe has also announced an intention to invest. At Mobile World Congress earlier this year Visa and MMN outlined plans to launch a range of initiatives in the UK designed to bring m-commerce to the mass market in the UK, with Visa Europe CEO predicting that, by 2020, more than half of the firm’s transactions would be executed from a mobile device.From this week staff at 800 CPW stores will be encouraging consumers to install the SimplyTap app (the name suggests an intention to embrace NFC when it becomes mainstream) on their smartphones in a bid to stimulate usage of the service.
CPW CEO Andrew Harrison cited Ofcom statistics which showed 21 per cent of smartphone owners already use barcode scanning apps on their handsets and 31 per cent of users have used their phones to photograph a product they are keen to purchase. “There is no doubt that mobile is changing the way that people search for and buy products,” Harrison said. “We know that customers and retailers alike want to take advantage of mobile payments.”
Among the early retail partners are struggling music, film and games retailer HMV, confectioners Thorntons and Universal Music. Harrison said that forward thinking high street retailers are already deploying free wifi networks to enable the use of connected mobile commerce services and launching their own applications.
The news comes as Juniper Research forecast that global mobile payment transactions are expected to rise nearly 400 per cent over the next five years to reach a value of $1.3tn by 2017.