If mobile payments aren’t high on your IT agenda, then they should be.

Mobile penetration in many markets, both developed and developing, has surpassed saturation point.

Already, more than 20 per cent of Gen Y has used their mobile to make a purchase and mobiles are widely expected to surpass PC as the preferred method for accessing the internet by 2015.

But many CIOs still seem to be unsure about how to properly approach mobile payments to create competitive advantage for their businesses while mitigating the risks inherent in new technologies.

The anecdotal benefits are clear. In a retail environment, mobile can reduce walk-aways, shorten average queue lengths, increase throughput and enlarge wallet share.

For banks, the proposition will include protecting payment revenues, cross-selling services, enhancing transparency and driving customer loyalty.

Mobile payments will convert cash transactions to digital, giving a whole new set of data on customer behaviour.

In our experience, CIOs should be focused on five key activities that will help them better define their approach and create long-term value generation for their business:

1 Collaborate with the business
Clearly, mobile payments offer different value propositions to different businesses and industry sectors.

For CIOs, the first challenge is in understanding how mobile will impact the operating model and deliver competitive advantage.

To achieve this, technology leaders will need to work closely with various parts of the business to develop a clear vision of the value that mobile payments represents to their internal clients and how they might respond to those needs through technology enablement.

Related:

For sales and marketing, for example, the benefits are not limited to the retail environment but also include access to a wealth of new customer data that will require better analytical systems in order to develop more valuable business intelligence.

For finance leaders, on the other hand, the introduction of mobile payments will require faster, more agile systems and processes to meet the near real-time demands of instantaneous payments.

2 Understand the value chain
Many CIOs are already finding themselves bombarded with mobile payment propositions as everyone from telecoms companies to banks vie to take a piece of the action.

At the same time, a host of new players are rapidly entering the market to offer a range of innovative mobile payment services and solutions.

It’s enough to bewilder even the savviest of CIOs.

CIO Event:

The CIO Big Conversation
Consumerisation: How to manage the new era of mobility

Date: Thursday 25th October 2012
Time: 6:30pm
Location: The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, London

To register for your place, email amie_lane@idg.co.uk

Event Overview:

The Big Conversation is a business technology leadership forum that brings IT leaders together to listen, share & shape opinions on the key issues the CIO community faces. The evening will include a keynote from a top CIO 100 speaker sharing his experiences on this topic, as well as the opportunity to share your views with fellow CIOs over networking drinks and canapés.