Mobile payments to-date have captured serious attention of businesses and analysts, and have leading enterprises pushing hard to launch a mobile strategy. 2012 was a big year, with a massive $12.8 billion spent through mobile payments.
And if analysts are correct, mobile payments will continue to see tremendous growth over the coming years. According to Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch:
“Forrester is predicting big growth for the mobile payments market in a new report out today, spanning 2013 to 2017. The market research firm is anticipating that the U.S. mobile payment market will see $90 billion spent in 2017, an incredible 48 percent compounded annual growth rate over the $12.8 billion that was spent in 2012. This is pretty much in keeping with other predictions we’ve been seeing, like the $110 billion in transactions anticipated by Juniper Research across not only the U.S., but also the rest of North America and the Western European markets, or the $191 billion annual figure for 2017 predicted by ABI Research for global NFC-based mobile payments made in October of last year.”
While analysts seem certain mobile payments will see significant growth, this doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges along the way. Etherington adds:
“The key to future growth for mobile payments will be convincing consumers that it is a much better alternative to the prevailing payment method, Forrester says. Highlighting convenience, security, and improved user experience are what will convince users to come on board, but it’ll require that there are clear and present advantages in each area in order to spur a mass movement towards mobile payment options.”
For mobile payments to continue to grow, real world security testing will play a major role. Mobile development is still relatively foreign to even some of the best developers, and consumers will need assurance that their bank information will be kept secure at all times. The only way to know if an in-app payment is vulnerable to security risks is to probe the app under real world conditions for all common attacks.
However, knowing the app is secure is not the only thing that will matter to users. Consumers won’t make payments via a mobile device if it’s easier for them to do so elsewhere. This is why usability testing will be another must for developer.
So far, developers have done a decent job optimizing the mobile payment user experience and keeping data secure. Yet as more and more businesses join the mobile payment game – testing for real world security and usability problems will play an even bigger role in development.