GSMA unveil mobile commerce vision

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Operators back optimistic white paper outlining ways mobile technology can revolutionise the high street

The GSMA has revealed ambitious plans to combine mobile connectivity with high street shopping experiences to support retailers and town centres.

At an event in London yesterday (25 July) the GSMA discussed how mobile operators can offer value added services through Near Field Communication (NFC) and related technologies.

The white paper builds on research by tech consultants Latitude which found that 60 per cent of UK and US smartphone users would be spurred to shop or make a purchase at least once a week after receiving mobile alerts, and 80 per cent would be interested in a mobile wallet.

At the centre of the event was the idea of a ‘loyalty wallet’, which would see loyalty cards, discounts, offers and incentives all collected, stored and redeemed in a single application through NFC and related technologies.

GSMA strategic engagement director Paul Crutchley (pictured) outlined the vision, and said that guidelines were crucial as “innovation can be leveraged from a framework”.

EE, Telefonica UK (O2) and Vodafone UK joint venture Weve, NFC specialists Proxama and payment service provider The Logic Group also suggested how mobile technologies can support the digital high street.

Weve CEO David Sear said that a loyalty wallet presented a “massive opportunity” but collaboration between operators and retailers was essential. Sear added that Weve is in talks with 80 of the UK’s top 100 retailers, and has 18 million customers currently ‘opted in’ to receive its marketing adverts.

GSMA general director Anne Bouverot said: “Mobile commerce will evolve to support the entire consumer experience, which involves far more than a visit to a single store.

“Consumers are looking for versatile and wide ranging services that help them with research, travel directions, parking, vouchers, loyalty dining, entertainment and many other aspects of an outing to a town centre or a destination retailer.”

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