In Mexico, smartphones are already an integral part of society. According to the company The CIU, at the end of the first quarter of 2016, there were 108 96 million mobile subscriptions in the country, of which 73.4% correspond to smartphones.
The above equates to 79.98 million devices in service, up 34.7% from the same period last year. Thus, it is estimated that the assumption of smart phone will finish this year with 82.7% of mobile subscriptions.
Hand in hand with the growth of mobile penetration, mobile commerce is here to stay. Mobile device usage is growing so fast that it is estimated that by 2017 there will be an increase of 34 million users (a total of 374 million devices across Latin America), with Brazil and Mexico leading the way.
According to Lucas Llorente, director of Zetenta, an agency specialized in mobile marketing, in some Latin American countries access to websites from mobile phones is already over 50% compared to desktop and the region will surpass this penetration in less than 2 years. However, what is still lagging is the possibility of paying with your device, i.e. mobile payment.
In Mexico, Movistar brings to the table its FLAP mobile payment solution, with which it tries to turn a smartphone with a card reader into a bank terminal and receive card payments in a few moments.
FLAP Mobile Payment is the ideal collections solution for self-employed, micro-businesses and SMEs that can make credit and debit card payments using a smartphone and a card reader.
These technological initiatives are becoming even more important in the industry as today those who access an e-commerce site via mobile have a lower conversion rate (probability to buy) than a desktop user, but that is also changing: they are more likely to that a mobile user performs a transaction.
Although the prospects for the region are very encouraging, there are two obstacles to overcome, explains Lucas Llorente:
The main one is Latin American consumers because, although user perception has improved slightly, they are afraid of scams. This continues to be a barrier to more users using a laptop as a transaction channel.
Another prerequisite for the further growth of mobile commerce in the region is related to greater use of banking by users. It is estimated that more than 60% of consumers in Latin America are non-banking and use cash. The rule is simple: the more the public revenue for this system increases, the larger the remittances and mobile payments.
“Perhaps in Latin America we are still hesitant about technology and new channels. That being said, there’s no doubt that mobile payments are here to stay in our region: for consumers, it means another step toward flexibility, practicality, and speed in their purchases, and for businesses, a new opportunity (and need) to adapt to the latest trade trends,” concludes Llorente.