MEF CTIA Panel explores the future of m-Commerce

fiona black and whiteMEF hosted an excellent panel at CTIA last week featuring a line-up of expert panelists including Todd Daubert of Dentons, Samsung‘s Steve Cho, John Giamatteo of AVG, Todd Mazurek of Blackberry, Tim Ritchie of Openmarket and Patrick Parodi of WifiName Corp.

Fiona Gellatly, MEF North America General Manager was there to moderate…

The topic of MEF’s CTIA panel was “M-Commerce: What the Future Holds for Retailers, Brands and Content Owners” and the conversation immediately focused in on key areas: security, privacy and consumer adoption of commerce on a mobile phone.  

With recent reports citing that 15% of all retail purchases will be done on a mobile phone in 2013, these are certainly topics that are top of mind for all in the mobile industry.

One question the panel addressed was whose responsibility is it to safe guard consumer privacy and most panelists agreed that companies don’t want to be in a position where the government regulates their activity. They would rather be in the position to develop security best practices for their companies but to also work with associations such as MEF and CTIA to ensure all companies are develop regulations that put the consumer in a position of trust and comfort, while still meeting government requirements. 

ctia photoAnother interesting topic was the technology to provide a secure yet easy process for consumers. While there are many formats available, companies may have to provide a few choices to consumers that are acceptable in their mind to conduct commerce on their mobile phone.  What is trustworthy to one consumer, may not be for another.

And Samsung brought up a good point that many devices are shared within a household. How does a company know who they  are marketing their products to at any given time? I know my iPad would disappear for days on end before I finally told my daughter that she is getting her own for Christmas.

The end of the panel discussion brought up the question of why should consumers use their mobile phone for purchases.

Resounding answers from the panelists agreed that the mobile phone is practically an appendage of most consumers all over the world so why not. Access is key so companies should be engaged and developing a mobile strategy as another selling channel or another way to provide relevant content to their consumers.  

I had a moment of sheer panic when I realized that I had lost my phone but quickly realized that I had left it on the stage for the panel.  Shout out to the PA guy at CTIA for finding it and holding it for me!

Fiona Gellatly is MEF’s North America General Manager and you can follow her on Twitter @PrepaidTweet

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