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Shoptalk Preview: How Mobile and IoT Are Changing Retail and Payments

Mobile wallets, appliances that order products from the Web, engaging millennial shoppers: The upcoming Shoptalk conference in Las Vegas will feature sessions on all those topics and more as attendees, presenters and exhibitors discuss the evolution of retail, a topic that often includes the future of payments.

On Monday, May 16, executives from PayPal, Amazon, Google, Money20/20 and Chase Commerce Solutions will discuss “Innovations in Payments, Mobile Wallets and Point of Sale.” The discussion follows last year’s announcement of Chase Pay and two big payments moves by Amazon: the launch of a payments service that seeks to bridge the gap between online and physical stores, and the debut of Amazon Payments Partner Program, a new global program it says will help e-commerce platform providers and developers extend the trust and familiarity of Amazon Payments to their merchant customers.

“Most consumers don’t want to relearn how to pay,” said Patrick Gauthier, vice president, Amazon Payments, at this month’s Money20/20 Europe conference in Denmark. He says Amazon is focused instead on connected customer experiences. He envisions a world in which Amazon Payments provides access to multiple services that consumers connect to at home via Echo or Dash buttons, online, in their cars and in the store.

Connected Commerce

Connected commerce, particularly around the Internet of Things—cars, appliances and other devices that connect to the Web and can order replacement parts on their own, among other tasks—is of growing interest in the retail and payments sectors. Dan Preston, CEO of Metromile, a San Francisco startup that offers pay-per-mile auto insurance and a driving app, will speak during a session about connected cars.

“As more cars become connected it will be vital to have more passive payments for services we currently need to pay for with card or cash, like parking for example,” he says. “If our cars can interact with the world around us, it should do it on our behalf without having to force us to engage with out-of-date systems. This could mean that when we pull up to a parking meter or into a parking garage, our car automatically processes payment.”

Over the next year, Preston expects the introduction of a “number of new products and services” for both cars and insurance as more drivers operate connected vehicles. “I hope attendees begin to understand that connectivity means that even in car insurance it is necessary to better fit the needs of drivers as their habits change,” he says.

Mobile, of Course

It’s no surprise that consumer habits around mobile will continue to shape the evolution of shopping, retail and payments. Among the sessions to deal with that reality is one called “Mobile Search and Discovery.” Search queries on mobile devices outpace those done on desktop computers, and experts during the session will discuss how they’re beefing up mobile offerings to make them more useful, intelligent and efficient. Such lessons can help retailers and payments providers better serve consumers.

“It’s important for retailers to think about mobile differently: Unlike desktop where shopping is a high-intent activity driven primarily through search, mobile is a series of fragmented activities across apps and mobile Web, where people instead expect content and products to be pushed directly to them,” says session speaker Michael Jaconi, co-founder and CEO of Button, which connects apps to leading commerce brands. “Mobile requires you to capture intent in context across those experiences, rather than rely on search,” he explains.

It’s a frenzied time for mobile, especially with the mobile wallet wars heating up—just recently, Verizon and Samsung offered rewards to consumers to encourage them to use their mobile devices for payments more often. But there is still a ways to go before mobile becomes the primary way to pay. Though mobile devices are regularly used in shopping, mobile commerce accounts for only 15 percent of digital commerce, Jaconi says. “As mobile device screen size grows, letting people more easily see product details and compare products; mobile network bandwidth gets faster, meaning less lag time and unreliable checkout experiences; and payment technologies on mobile become more mainstream, this gap will significantly lessen over time but there are still ways retailers can shore up the divide today.”

Click here for more information about how to register for Shoptalk with Paybefore’s  discount code.

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