Driving IoT Progress at Mobile World Congress
I felt fortunate to be among the 107,000 delegates from 205 countries attending this year’s Mobile World Congress, held earlier this month in surprisingly chilly Barcelona.
Showcasing everything from connected cars, to virtual reality, 3D printing to amazing app ideas—the exhibition and conference content at MWC gave visitors a chance to discuss the future of mobile and explore the world’s most cutting-edge, mobile-enabled products and services.
Powering the mobile checkout
ACI has been quietly, but successfully supporting MNOs and MVNOs with integrated payment and fraud services for almost 20 years now, but with all the change and challenges going on in the telco industry, we felt it was time to highlight our expertise and take an active part in one of the industry’s biggest shows. We also had an exciting demo to show the audience around our IoT- based mobile payments solution.
We were pleased to be able to take part in the ‘Power Hour’ alongside other industry experts – discussing the importance of simplifying the checkout experience, increasing payments choice and making sure that fraud prevention solutions are designed to increase payments acceptance and drive loyalty. We also looked at how IoT is transforming customer experience and what revenue opportunities this is creating for telcos prepared to invest in innovation.
IoT: the ‘IT’ topic
It was no surprise that IoT was by far the most popular and widely discussed topic. It is a massive force of change for the telco industry – not some ‘pie in the sky’ idea or merely something that might be an influence in the future. It is here right now and telcos need to be actively looking at how to realize the potential opportunities it presents. After all, they are best placed to power this transformation – and with the estimated number of devices connected to the Internet predicted to explode from 10 billion today to 50 billion by 2020, the opportunity is almost boundless. Especially since it is a concept that is gaining huge popularity with consumers – with a recent Accenture study showing that 63% of consumers would consider auto-replenishment for household goods – just one of the ways that IoT-based payments will undoubtedly become part of everyday life for connected consumers.
Navigating the road ahead for telcos
There are many opportunities and challenges ahead for telcos, but possibly the most interesting path ahead is for MNOs and MVNOs that can transform their businesses and take advantage of the prime position that mobile phones and other connected devices have in today’s world. For example, as consumers, most of us rely quite heavily on our smartphones for communicating, navigating, purchasing online and increasingly for transacting. Mobile payments that support fast, simple and secure checkout experiences for online and in-person payments will certainly grow in popularity because they fit with our fast-moving, digital lifestyles, as well as our craving for convenience. Telcos have a huge chance to capitalize on this growing attachment to mobiles – not just to support mobile payments themselves, but to become a hub for a range of digital goods and services. The growing popularity of lifestyle apps such as Alipay are a great illustration of how open consumers are to this concept and the potential for telcos to solidify their customer relationships, grow customer lifetime values and increase market share.
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