For understandable reasons the mobile payments trade press is often a bit too excitable when evaluating future grown in the industry, and only rarely seems to excessively downplay the impact of an emerging trend positive for the mobile payments space.
Last week saw one of those rare moments, in the form of a piece on PYMTS which cautiously asked the question “Will BYOD lead enterprise to mobile payments?”
So the question is whether the growing BYOD trend will result in businesses and other employers significantly adopting mobile payments technologies for their own work processes, mirroring a more well-documented growth in the use of other mobile apps within companies.
From Cellum’s view, the answer is a resounding yes.
For one thing, we have first-hand evidence of such uptake in some of the markets we serve, for example with QR bill payment in Hungary, where “BlackBerry” has always meant something you get from a bush, rather than a corporate IT department.
In some ways, the logic of BYOD leading to more mobile payments in the enterprise setting is even more compelling than the rise in smartphone deliveries worldwide leading to more B2C mobile payments. This is certainly true when it comes to management of travel and other related expenses, in which a mobile wallet with multiple payment instruments can offer firms a level of financial control well beyond that of a simple company credit or debit card.
This is not to say that there aren’t barriers to bringing the rapidly-developing consumer mobile payment experience into the corporate setting, just as there are growth barriers in the B2C mobile payment market.
But there are also ways in which barriers in the B2B are lower, not least because of the ability of companies to mandate the use of potentially advantageous technologies and practices. Indeed, the use of mobile payments in the enterprise setting could upend the normal pattern in which B2C tech is “introduced” to the B2C market via employees using their personal devices at work, with enterprise use of mobile payments further encouraging consumers to take full advantage of the payment possibilities being offered by the devices they carry around all day, at work and at play.