Monday, February 15, 2016


By Inside Retail

‘Touch commerce’ to take off in Australia

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So-called touch commerce is poised to take off in 2016, with worldwide mobile purchases predicted to surge by 150 per cent with smartphone-toting consumers in countries such as Australia.

About a third of Australians browse shopping websites and apps at least once a week, but only nine per cent buy anything, with the tedium of typing personal details on a small touch screen one of the biggest reasons for a completion rate that is in line with the global average.

“This is likely to change significantly with touch commerce, which is expected to take the friction out of online buying,” financial services firm Deloitte said in its annual Technology, Media and Telecommunications predictions.

“By speeding up and simplifying the transaction, touch commerce has the capacity to reduce browse-to-pay to seconds, and create a win-win for consumers and business, converting browsers to buyers.”

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The firm says about 50 million people are expected to become regular users by the end of 2016, making payments without logging in or entering details. They will instead use a fingerprint, a pattern of screen touches or a PIN code to verify the payment.

Only 8.5 per cent of mobile users who view an online checkout form currently complete their purchase, according to Deloitte.

Customer details can be stored either within the device’s operating system, for example with Apple or Google, or with a service such as Paypal’s One Touch, Mastercard’s MasterPass or Visa Checkout.

Richard Miller, who leads Deloitte’s Financial Services Payments practice, said the technology means retailers would no longer need to hold customer data, lowering the chances of security breaches.

Miller said about 60 smartphones containing fingerprint scanners were on the market at the start of 2016, compared to only a dozen a year ago.

Deloitte consulting partner, Clare Harding, said the move toward touch payments was part of a broader trend.

“Entrepreneurs are spotting the points of friction and where they meet the business potential for opportunity or profit,” Harding said. “That intersection drives innovation and change.”

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