An innovative mobile payment system fronted by Sir Stuart Rose that launches tomorrow will play a pivotal role in the development of m-commerce, the former Marks & Spencer boss has claimed.
The ‘mobile checkout’ service Simply Tap has attracted the interest of other big retail names, including Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone, who is an investor in Simply Tap operator Mobile Money Network.
Carphone Warehouse along with chocolatier Thorntons and Liam Gallagher’s Pretty Green fashion business have signed up for Simply Tap’s launch. Other well-known retailers are expected to join.
Simply Tap allows registered consumers, once they have downloaded the app, to buy from any participating retailers by entering a product code into their phones.
All devices, networks and payment cards can be used. Purchases can be made from media as diverse as billboard ads to websites and goods are delivered to shoppers’ homes. In addition to alpha- numeric codes, an image recognition facility is close to completion.
Rose, Mobile Money Network’s chairman, said that the way people shop is being transformed and that Simply Tap, although at an early phase of development, clicks with those changes in consumer habits. He said retailers that adapt quickly will be strongly positioned.
“This is a technology for the future,” said Rose. “I could name at least three retailers that are in trouble because they haven’t changed – they think people are going to get up and schlep to a shop.
“We live in a cash-rich, time-poor society. People have other demands on their time and they want instant satisfaction and service.
“It’s been pretty grim and relentless in retail for the past 24 months. Retailers that keep innovating will come out the other side in a better position than those that stick their heads in the sand.”
Mobile Money Network managing director John Milliken said Simply Tap complements rather than competes with retailers’ own m-commerce initiatives and that the industry would benefit by backing a common system, as evidenced in the past by how payments businesses such as Visa developed. “Historically on payment, the nut has been cracked by clubbing together,” he said.
Andrew Harrison, chief executive of Best Buy Europe which is also an investor in Mobile Money Network, said: “Simply Tap will provide retailers with compelling new options when it comes to marketing and selling products. Today is evidence of a shared vision among UK retailers.”
The launch of Simply Tap will be backed by a seven-figure marketing campaign and users will be offered £10 cash back on first purchases