PayPal. It is, by far, the most common method of sending and receiving money without ever having to deal with actual credit card numbers. This alone has been an appealing aspect to online shoppers. With mobile commerce, accepting PayPal will become even more important.
In a recent study by Retrevo, a majority of online shoppers say they never plan to shop with a mobile device. The number one reason: they don’t want to be entering credit card numbers via a phone.
Recently, I argued that, when users configure devices and connections properly, transmitting payment via a mobile device is no less secure than shopping via a desktop computer (see: Is the Future of eCommerce in the Palm of Our Hands?). But that’s an overreach when it comes to the average user – one who not only is ignorant of technical specs, but also doesn’t want to be bothered with having to learn how to shop securely.
Many ecommerce sites recommend looking at the way Amazon.com handles payments. Shoppers there can opt to store payment information, which makes it easy to shop via the big guy’s mobile site. The problem is, the majority of small businesses don’t have the capital to utilize the immense security measures necessary to store this type of information, and without the proper measures, credit card data itself is at risk.
Enter: PayPal’s Mobile Checkout.
While still in it’s infancy, Mobile Checkout is designed specifically for selling to mobile shoppers. As with regular PayPal, the company has posted its API so the functionality can ultimately be integrated with any shopping cart that can support checkout via a mobile device.
On standard online stores, alternative checkout methods, such as PayPal, Amazon Payments and Google Checkout, rarely serve the majority of customers, but they have proven to increase sales. Wary of fraud, many users choose these methods because of a growing concern about giving out credit card numbers. With mobile commerce the need for single-place storage of payment information is even greater.
Offering options also opens the door to more potential customers, as there are a decent number of online shoppers who will only shop stores that accept alternative payment methods.
As for the argument about mobile commerce itself, I’ll remind everyone that, at one time, the majority of now-Internet shoppers were wary about ever purchasing something online.