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Mobile payment app Simply Tap saw a 40% increase in registrations following a poster campaign that offered the chance to buy a Thorntons Easter egg for just 1p.

To access the offer users could either type in a code word, scan a QR code or use the app’s image recognition (IR) technology.

Mobile Money Network (MMN) corporate development director Matthew Smith said that the company, which built the app, quickly ran out of the promotional eggs due to high demand.

We were caught on the hop somewhat. It’s been hugely successful for us though, so while we obviously want to keep things fresh, this type of campaign does get results and we may do a similar promotion in future.”

Simply Tap, which launched in November on iPhone and Android, stores a customer's credit card details and delivery address to allow single click purchasing.

    

Smith said that the company is currently working on a short-term B2B strategy aimed at getting more companies to sell products through Simply Tap.

So far Thorntons, HMV, Goldsmiths, the Hut Group, Pretty Green and Carphone Warehouse have signed up, and MMN is in talks with several others.

We are trying to create a marketplace and build our network, and are in talks with banks and media groups who already have a relationship with a large consumer base and advertisers.”

Much of the discussion around mobile payments has focused on NFC technology, and transactional apps such as Square, but Simply Tap encourages consumers to buy items remotely rather than in situ at the till. However, it will face similar issues to do with consumer confidence, and a poor conversion rate on smartphones compared to tablets and desktop.

Smith said while MMN’s own research suggests that consumers are no longer worried about security in relation to m-commerce apps, the company’s B2B focus should overcome any lingering concerns.

I think brands will give people confidence. If a major retailer like Carphone Warehouse or your bank trusts the app and signs up to it, then that will build trust among consumers as well.”

One of the other challenges for m-commerce sites is speed, with research suggesting that 74% of users will abandon the transaction after waiting five seconds for a mobile site to load.

We had mixed experiences when testing this out, for some the registration process was quick and easy, with the QR and IR scans recognising the poster instantly - and for others neither of the scans worked and registration was slow. Consistency may therefore be another hurdle.

The next big test is getting more retailers to sign up. With backers including Carphone Warehouse, Monitise and former Marks & Spencer CEO Sir Stuart Rose, MMN should have enough industry contacts to at least get a foot in the door.

Finally, there's the education process to consider. Though for our team, we put the time and effort into reading the poster to the right  - will consumers do the same?

Yes, placing these at bus stops means that people are more likely to have the time to stop and read, but are people familiar enough with IR - or even QR codes - to understand? A 40% increase is positive, but without a starting benchmark to show figures, the jury's still out on this one.

David Moth

Published 6 March, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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