MEX Notes: Retailers, cash rich, to spend on IT: report

  • Retailers, cash rich, to spend on IT: report – Technology aimed at facilitating short range wireless transactions, such as NFC for mobile payments, is slowly making its way into mobile devices, with Nokia, HP, HTC and Samsung all starting to build in this capability. However, the most popular use case – paying for physical goods at a retail point of sale (POS) terminal – will be held back initially by the lack of compatible hardware among retailers. In Japan, where this usage scenario is most established, the dominant operator NTT DoCoMo had to make strategic investments in credit card companies to expedite the rollout of NFC-equipped POS terminals. The good news is KPMG's recent survey of retailers found 72% of them have excess cash on their balance sheets, while 47% plan to use this cash to invest in new technology aimed at capturing more wallet share from their customers. For this investment to have a meaningful impact on the consumer experience, both retailers and device designers will need to evolve their understanding of short range wireless interactions, recognising the user interface differs significantly when mobiles are used as a 'remote control for the real world' rather than a 'window on the virtual world'. These types of interaction are under consideration as a future MEX Pathway.

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