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M-Commerce: Changing the retail landscape

Phoebe Magdirila | May 27, 2013
In a hyper connected and mobile age, retailers are waking up to the fact that they need to offer 'anytime anywhere' mobile shopping experiences for their customers, giving rise to what is now known today as mobile commerce or m-commerce.

The risks should already be seen and mitigated from the creation of the apps itself, and one of the things to be looked at is having a "built-in encryption between the device and the servers at the customer's location," says Passios. The Interactive Intelligence executive states that this is how they have built their tools for app creation.

M-commerce also entails other security factors, such as the confidential data of consumers and the finances being transferred electronically. Thus, on a payments processing perspective, compliance is crucial.

Both Netsuite and AsiaPay takes pride in being Philippine Card Industry—Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) Compliant, thus assuring its clients— both merchants and local businesses alike—that whatever technology is being implemented by them will be injected with proper security measures.

AsiaPay fortifies such compliance requirements with their own fraud detection and management technology, the ePayAlert, that lets both merchants and banks detect and prevent fraudulent transactions.

San Andres adds that this service to their clients also include a "fully-customizable set of rules that can be established to better protect businesses from different online fraud patterns more commonly associated in their industry."

And this is only among all the other security measures company must follow, like having a secure data center with levels of redundancy, and disaster recovery measures, among others.


Given the case that businesses can keep up, can consumers do too, and be ready to use them for financial-centric transactions?

"Filipinos are quick adaptors of technology as they continue to follow the trends of its tech savvy neighboring countries," Says San Andres. "M-commerce has been gaining attention in the Philippines."

However, despite the attention it's getting, m-commerce is still "on the infantile stage of the business cycle," he adds. For AsiaPay, "the consumer market's knowledge about the m-commerce in the country is still basic," and both "the industry and the individuals are still adapting to the new technology."

This may be understandable, especially when Philippines is compared to other developed countries. Nonetheless, local businesses believe that consumers are now utilizing what is available. BPI, for example, has seen "significant consumer confidence in mobile commerce."

Their statistics show that there are now more than 450,000 enrolments in their mobile facilities, and growing by around 20% every year. "In 2012, more than 1 million transactions were made amounting to more than Php 4 Billion worth of transactions using BPI's mobile facilities," says Faustino. And these voluminous transactions made, and the amount of money that passes through the facility, is "a good measure of trust" of their customers.

"M-commerce in the Philippines will highly be dependent on the people involved with it. Online entrepreneurs, banks and financial institutions, and ePayment solutions providers are the key players in promoting the growth of m-commerce," adds San Andres.


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