Mobile Plays Big Role In Connected Commerce

Commerce used to be limited to brick-and-mortar stores, but not anymore. People can buy anything, anywhere, at any time—and more and more, they’re using their mobile devices. Executives from Citi, Niantic and Groupon spoke about how mobile is revolutionizing commerce in the “Intelligently Connected Experiences” keynote on Day 2 of MWC Barcelona.


Mobile payments for all

According to a newly released mobile money report from GSMA, there were over 850 million mobile money accounts registered globally in 2018. However, over one-third of the world population (1.7 billion) doesn’t have a bank account, explained James Forese, President of Citi.

But mobile could be the great enabler for financial services.

“Technology is allowing us to reach more people—and a line of sight to 1.7B unbanked people—and helping facilitate inclusion to those that aren’t able to access basic services,” said Forese.

None of this will happen without telco partnerships, and Forese explained that cell phone providers are key partners because of their ability to reach unbanked populations in rural, distant areas.

“At Citi we want to be a force for inclusion,” said Forese. “And the partnership model is the way to go.”

But technology isn’t the only key to success for mobile commerce. Groupon CEO Rich Williams explained that companies need to keep something else in mind.

“We want an amazing app experience, but more importantly we need to connect with customers where ever they are and on their terms,” said Williams.

According to Williams, $700 billion of commerce flows through mobile devices, and Groupon has become a “mobile-first” company to capture a share of that.

“We double downed on mobile,” said Williams. “Now 80 percent of all Groupon transactions occur over a mobile device.”


Technology-enabled experiences

New technologies like virtual reality and 5G will further transform customer interactions, explained John Hanke, Founder and CEO of Niantic.

“The future is one where experiences are going to be augmented,” said Hanke. “5G will play a key role.”

But for Williams, new technologies won’t transform business and commerce—good customer experience will.

“The biggest disruptive force in business is not 5G,” said Williams. “It is the focus on the customer.”


To succeed with mobile commerce, service providers need to deliver great customer experiences on the channels customers use most. Learn more about our payment solutions.

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CSG Insights Team

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