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  1. For retailers looking to enter the online marketplace it can be difficult finding your way round the myriad eCommerce systems available.

    Of course, you could leave the choice to your web developer but we have yet to meet a client who does not want to get involved in the process of selecting the right eCommerce platfrom for their needs. Knowing your options also helps when you are discussing the choice of eCommerce system with your designers or developers.

    Oside from getting advise from other UKBL members on the eCommerce forums you can also gain an insight on eCommerce platforms through a website called BuiltWith. For those who are not familiar with BuiltWith it provides business intelligence on technologies running websites.

    The full blog is rather too long for posting here. If you want a run-down on using BuiltWith for researching eCommerce systems you can check out our latest blog on Using BuiltWith To Evaluate the Popularity of Ecommerce Systems here.
  2. [​IMG]
    Mobile payment technology, which allow consumers to purchase goods and services using cashless payment methods are starting to gain real traction as a viable technology. In this blog we look at how this technology is likely to develop and wonder what the future holds in store for mobile payments.​

    The Technology

    Two forms of infrastructure have emerged as likely contenders in the mobile payment space; these are NFC (Near Field Communication) and QR (Quick Response) Codes.

    NFC is a fusion of a contactless smartcard based on RFID (or Radio Frequency Identification) and a mobile phone. NFC enabled mobiles incorprorate self-contained microchips that can transmit information wirelessly over limited distances. QR codes converseley are a form of 2D Bar Codes which record data as a series of 1s and 0s which can be interpreted by QR code readers. QR Codes are not new to mobile technology of course, and mobile payments may well be the most likely lifeline to a technology that has yet to gain widespread public appreciation. QR Code technology has the advantage that the cost of generating codes is near zero, so once the software has been developed the technology is highly scalable at very low cost.

    Providers

    A number of software providers are currently each pushing their own solution in what is becoming an increasingly competitive race to capture market acceptance and share. One such notable pplayer is Paypal. Paypal have released their own software, called Payment Code. The technology enables shoppers to pay for goods using a mobile app. that generate QR Codes readable by merchants’ existing QR code or Barcode scanners. The Paypal app. generates a QR code that can be read by the retailer’s barcode scanner. Where no scanner exists, a four-digit PIN can be punched into a card-reading terminal as an alternative. For retailers, the question is whether to adopt Paypal payments and integrate Payment Code with their existing payment system by way of a set of APIs ? For an up-to-date list of mobile payment solutions it is worth checking Mobile Payments Today for latest releases to market.

    The Consumer

    So, are there any advantages to the consumer in using mobile payment technology and if so what are they ? Certainly, there is a trend away from carrying cash. Cashless payments have the advantage that consumers don’t have to worry about having enough cash on them and certainly seem naturally inclined to pay in-store using cashless payments. The consumer with the most to gain from cashless payment systems is, however, the younger generation. As noted in our blog on Visual Search young consumers are most likely to utilise phone apps. in their daily lives.

    Mobile payment technologies also have a level of sophistication that credit cards cannot match. PayPal’s solution, for example, allows customers to redeem merchant rewards or other credits saved in their PayPal wallet at the point of transaction. Other examples include Starbucks who have implemented an app. allowing customers to buy their coffee using their smartphone. The sheer novelty of feeling in control of their choices may be the tipping point which leads consumers to utilising mobile payment technologies.

    Whatever the final outcome for cashless payments, either through NFC or QR Codes, mobile technology is certainly the forerunner for changing the way we shop in store and online. We will be watching the outcome with interest.

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    [Read the full article at onestop-webshop.co.uk/blog/cashless-payments/]