Mobile payments have remained a small but fast-growing part of the explosion of smartphone usage in America. According to a study by Creditdonkey.com, 87 percent of Americans have a mobile phone but only 21 percent of mobile phone users have taken advantage of mobile banking in the past year.
Mobile payment products like Visa's payWave or Paypal's apps for iOS and Android may be the way all of us buy goods in the future, but a number of consumers are resisting the technology. According to CreditDonkey's survey, 68 percent of respondents said that they would not like to replace cash with a mobile payment product. It is going to take time for the mobile phone to replace the wallet.
Slow mobile ad growth, slow mobile pay growth
The story of mobile has always been a slow one. When it comes to mobile advertising, experts have said "this is the year of the mobile" for five years now, and instead of a sudden explosion of mobile advertising, we've seen a strong and steady growth. Still, mobile advertising spend lags mobile consumption by a large margin, and most experts expect that it will take more time for mobile advertising to come of its own.
"Mobile advertising is only in the second inning, and ad publishers and networks have barely scratched the surface in terms of targeting," says Jordan Greene of Mella Media, a firm specializing in mobile media. While advertisers are moving more slowly than consumers, Greene notes that mobile offers enormous potential that advertisers will eventually see enormous benefits from. "While mobile arguably provides more data elements than any other digital interaction, many companies are so enamored with acquiring the ‘new’ that they have seemingly forgotten to leverage the ‘old’ data that they have been collecting for the past 15 years," Greene says, adding that companies such as AOL and Yahoo have been slow to integrate their long history of user data on the desktop with new mobile platforms.
Other companies have been much faster to take advantage of the promise of the mobile platform. Facebook is in the early days of unleashing its Facebook Exchange on its mobile newsfeed ads, which offers retargeting based on desktop browsing habits. The combination of geotargeting, FBX ads and social data-based targeting makes Facebook one of the most promising and robust display options on the market.
Mobile ads and mobile payments: A match made in heaven
For Facebook to really hit it out of the park, they need to do more than offer strong-performing display ads to advertisers--they need to offer consumers something, too. And this is what could help the majority of consumers warm up to the idea of mobile payments.
Imagine this: You're walking down the street and you see a trendy boutique across the way. Your phone vibrates--you see a 10 percent discount coupon for the store show up on the screen. You walk in, see an awesome shirt and decide to buy it. You wave your phone over the register, get your 10 percent discount and pay for the shirt. They wrap it and you go on your merry way.
Of course this won't appeal to everyone, but most consumers will love the value and convenience, and merchants will love the on-the-spot market opportunity. All of the tech is already here--we just need someone to come along and make it happen.
This article is part of Allvoices' coverage of Advertising Week, the world's largest and most important advertising gathering. This series is supported by Advertising Week.
Check out http://www.allvoices.com/advertisingweek for more coverage.