State-of-the-art or just pilots – what does the future of Mobile Payment look like?

© Itellium
One of the focal points at EuroCIS 2012 will be provided by innovative payment systems specifically geared to the retail. The theme of mobile payment is currently arousing special interest in the retail scene. Which forms of Mobile Payment are already being offered to the retail and which trends are set to make their mark in future, will be presented at EuroCIS by suppliers including Atos, B+S Card Services, ConCardis, easycash, Hypercom, Ingenico, InterCard, Itellium, Valuephone or VeriFone.

“After contactless cards at the retail checkout, making purchases with mobile phones using mobile Internet as well as contactless payment with NFC-compatible mobile phones at the checkout are presenting the latest challenges. Mobile Services are driving Mobile Payments”, explains Horst Förster, member of the Payment Systems Working Group within the EHI Retail Institute.

Mobile phones enabling Mobile Services

Within the retail sector convenience for consumers is a key aim. To this end, leading retailers are now also banking on the mobile services provided by modern mobile phones. These include for example:

• Sending/receiving e-mails and SMS/MMS messages
• Mobile Internet access
• Downloading applications (“Mobile Apps”)
• 2D QR Code readers for accessing information from the Internet
• Mobile Wallet for storing vouchers and Gift Cards
• Contactless NFC function for dialogue at the Point of Sale

These facilities form the technical basis for Mobile Services within the retail trade, local public transport, banks and many other sectors.

Mobile Services and mobile Internet driving Mobile Payments

Since 2008 there has been increasing interest within the retail in Mobile Services for a mobile, direct addressing of customers. The mobile services of interest to the retail include among others:

• Customer information: store branch finder, product range finder, shopping list, current offers, also SMS welcome

• Product and service information: delivery status, guarantee status

• Customer loyalty schemes: vouchers, discounts, Mobile Couponing, bonus points, special offers

• Mobile shopping in the mobile online shop using “Mobile Apps”

• Product and service offers on smart posters: information can be accessed using NFC-compatible mobile phones.

To this end, various mobile communication options can be used on an individual-customer basis – for example e-mail, SMS, Mobile App or 2D QR Barcodes, and from 2012 also contactless NFC technology.

The Mobile Couponing example – smart phones as a discount card

Paper vouchers, coupons and discount cards have now got mobile competition. The trend is towards location-based electronic coupons, which can be sent on an individual-customer basis to a registered regular customer’s mobile phone and stored in the retailer’s Mobile Wallet or App. The regular customer can redeem their “Location-based” coupon in the retailer’s store, mostly through a scan of the QR Barcodes from the mobile phone display screen.

Mobile payments using the mobile Internet

The best example of the strong increase in the consumers’ and the retail’s mobility is online shopping using mobile Internet. Many retailers have been operating online shops for years and often already achieve 15% of their turnover here in the over-the-counter retail sector.

The Internet and its tried-and-tested e-Payment-Mix are also key components in the retail for mobile Internet. Because mobile customers have now begun to also use the Internet on a mobile basis with their Smart Phones, test services offered by Mobile Apps and conveniently make purchases with their mobile phones using the mobile Internet. Leading online retailers have already set up mobile online shops for this purpose and developed corresponding Mobile App services.

Today in Germany the m-Payment-Mix available from mobile online shops corresponds to the e-Payment-Mix in Germany and Europe – thanks to the web technologies also used on the mobile Internet. Mobile payment functions just as easily “as payments on the Internet”.

Today all Mobile Payments involve for example card payments, electronic direct debit (EDD), prepaid-account, e-wallets (e.g. PayPal), online bank transfers or also SMS payments such as mpass.

Example – the mobile phone as mobile retail checkout

Mobile retailers can use Smart Phones as a mobile retail checkout. At EuroCIS 2012 ConCardis is showing its Mobile Payment App, which retailers can use for the mobile processing of card payments.

Example – mpass SMS Payment Service

At the forthcoming EuroCIS, Easycash will be providing information about the mpass SMS Payment Service. After a one-off registration with their mobile phone provider, the user can make payments in (mobile) online shops using their mobile phone number and mpass PIN with an mpass SMS. mpass payments are debited via an existing bank account. .

Example – QR code-based mobile payment using IntelliPay

At EuroCIS 2012, IT service-provider Itellium will be showing the ItelliPay QR code-based Mobile Payment solution. Here for example, an electronic direct debit process is triggered through a checkout receipt printed out from the retail checkout in QR code form. The registered user scans the QR Code with their mobile phone, the ItelliPay App launches automatically and displays the amount to be paid. The user registered for the service confirms the payment with their itellipay PIN. The ItelliPay App sends the payment data with confirmation to the Acquirer, who confirms payment to the retailer. The debit is effected via the existing payment form (e.g. electronic direct debit or bank account).

Contactless Mobile NFC payments at the checkout

In Germany the next expected development – in addition to contactless cards – will be a more powerful integration of contactless technologies with, and in mobile telephones (e.g. NFC Sticker, QR Code, or NFC function), aimed at making diverse Mobile Services & Payments available at contactless POS Terminals, in retail vending machines and at Smart Tags thus opening up new markets.

To this end, there are already over 200 Mobile NFC Payment initiatives Europe-wide, which offer fast and secure mobile payment. In Germany these are Touch & Travel operated by German Railways (DB - Deutsche Bahn) and RMV2go by the Rhine-Main Transport Authority (RMV - Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund).

Card payments, electronic direct debit, prepaid account, e-wallets, bank transfer or SMS payments can then be conducted using a contactless NFC dialogue with a contactless reader at the retail checkout, using retail vending machines or on Smart Posters. To that extent, the NFC technology is now also taking the payment services we are familiar with from the (mobile) Internet to the retail checkout.


An increasing number of consumers now own Internet-compatible smartphone-mobile phones. In order to address their mobile customers, the retail is increasingly relying on individual-customer Mobile Services.

The latest trends in the retail include online shopping on the mobile Internet using mobile phones along with mobile customer loyalty services. In this connection Mobile-Payment services are used “like those on the Internet”.

The acceptance among consumers and customers’ behaviour when using Mobile Services and Mobile Payments is based on their personal experiences with the Internet. The young generation in particular is very mobile phone-savvy and is seeking to make increased use of the mobile world.

Smart posters and contactless mobile phones will trigger new trends in the retail as soon as – as announced by the manufacturers for 2012 – NFC-compatible mobile phones are available in sufficient quantities.
- More informations about Mobile Payment