Carphone Warehouse customers will be able to use their phones to purchase products from retailers such as HMV and Thorntons as the retailer begins promoting its mobile payments app.
Carphone staff have started targeting the Mobile Checkout app at the retailer’s 3.5 million customer base. Customers who come into a store to buy a smartphone will be shown how the app works.
The retailer has been trialling the product since last year. Matthew Smith (pictured), director of mobile strategy at Carphone, said more than 3,000 products can be purchased through the app, which is available on iOS and Android devices. Alternatively, customers can make a purchase by scanning codes or pictures in-store or on promotional material.
Smith said: ‘We see this as a solution that will enhance all channels to market. We plan to educate customers about it. Carphone Warehouse customers who purchase smartphones will have the opportunity to get educated on the app and how it works.’
Smith expects the bulk of purchases to be centered on accessories. He said: ‘These are products that can be purchased without a lot of deliberation or need for price checking. We are also looking into introducing ways of topping up prepay devices. It’s those sorts of impulse purchases that we feel will be bought from the app.’
The app is powered by Simply Tap and is also used by retailers including HMV, Thorntons, Pretty Green, Daily Mail Shop and Universal Music. Smith said that in the future, customers will be able to purchase products from other participating retailers through the app.
However, Carphone has refused to set a target for how many people it wants using the app within the next 12 months. Smith said the focus would be on raising consumer awareness of mobile payments. He said: ‘We are on the start of the journey with customers. We are being conservative in our expectations and will go by the customers’ appetite. We are acutely aware that we are at the leading edge [of mobile payments] in adopting Simply Tap. There are only a few propositions that are live in the market but there’s noise about mobile payments and we are moving towards tangible activity. As consumers become more aware there’s an opportunity for an independent authority on mobile payment solutions as more options become available.’
Smith said that while the retailer’s short-term focus was on the Apple and Android operating systems, talks were ongoing about bringing the app to other mobile platforms.
The company behind Simply Tap, The Mobile Money Network (MMN), is a joint venture between Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone, Best Buy Europe and mobile money company Monitise.