Retailers ahead, consumers lagging in mobile payment adoption: Vend

While Australian bricks and mortar owners adopt technology, consumers rely on plastic

Australian retailers are early adopters of innovative technologies, but continue to face challenges in changing consumers’ habitual behaviour on the payment front, according to Vend chief executive officer (CEO), Vaughan Rowsell.

Vend is a New Zealand vendor which develops tools for bricks and mortar stores ranging from point of sale (POS) to loyalty and mobile payment products for retail customers. Its sweet spot are those retailers which operate between one to 20 stores, but also has enterprise customers.

Rowsell told ARN that despite the competitiveness of the US retail landscape, Australian retailers have always been ahead with electronic funds transfer at point of sale (EFTPOS) and card-acceptance schemes.

Similarly, Vend’s local customers have been surprisingly ambitious in the adoption of Cloud-based tools on the payments front.

“Three years ago we had to educate retailers as to the power of Cloud and why they should make the switch to make way for new technology,” Rowsell said.

“These days we are having less of those conversations. Retailers get it.”

But while companies are on the front foot, consumers continue to rely on more traditional methods of payment.

“Changing consumer behaviour [is hindering mobile payment acceptance],” Rowsell said.

“It all comes down to the consumer. Consumers are used to pulling out a card.”

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“It’s not a broken system; tap and go is convenient. But it’s not just about a new way to pay.”

“There has to be added benefit. For example, what PayPal is doing with automated check-ins; pay without getting your phone out of your pocket.”

Rowsell refers to PayPal’s Beacon application which was launched in 2013. It allows customers to check in and pay for items from mobile phones, and then pick up the items from the bricks and mortar outlets afterwards.

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