Merchants are still in 1st baby steps with Mobile and Mobile Data, says Kristina Yee, Analyst, Gigaom Research

Kristina J. Yee is an Analyst for Gigaom Research and a market strategist and change agent focused on the cloud-enabled business and financial services technology. Her articles have appeared in publications like Mortgage Banking and New York Finance, and she has been quoted in various media outlets.

In an exclusive interview with Let’s Talk Payments and The Money Event Team, she talked about her take on the latest developments in electronic payments, mobility, fraud and financial services industries.

Excerpts of the interview:

LTP Team: How are merchants benefiting from the integration of cloud, mobility & analytics especially with respect to commerce and payments domain?

Kristina: I would say that they are far from integrated. Merchants are still in 1st baby steps with mobile and mobile data.

LTP Team: What do you think of the current POS & payments fraud Levels? How can the current technology secure these transactions?

Kristina: I think POS fraud levels are still significantly lower than internet transactions, with the latter being some 20% higher. So while POS losses are not 'acceptable' per se, they represent the best alternative in terms of lowest rate of fraud. This will be moot however when EMV becomes common -- perhaps 5 years out from now. Then one would expect that the POS fraud rate would drop significantly -- down to below 5% as it did in Europe -- and grow exponentially -- by over 20% for online and other card not present transactions.

LTP Team: How is mobility enabling better customer experience?

Kristina: Mobility is about convenience and the Channel of One. The user is in control of when and where and how they will engage with the brand. Mobility also enables the consumer to tap into a wealth of information at any time and information/knowledge represents power/influence and engagement.

LTP Team: What are the current trends that can be witnessed in mobile commerce?

Kristina: You can see my most recent Mobile Commerce Outlook report from Gigaom Research at, but in general, you see a movement towards taking mobile operations more seriously rather than as an afterthought channel. Consumers are accessing retail sites at a rapidly increasing rate and only the most nimble mobile-first companies and most strategic larger companies are on track to capitalize on this sea change today. That said, Amazon and eBay -- platforms by which smaller merchants can benefit from the mobile-enabled consumer -- are seeing a large % of their traffic and revenue coming from mobile and are investing commiserate with the opportunity.

LTP Team: How can merchants and other stakeholders leverage cloud infrastructure in enhancing mobile payments?

Kristina: Companies like MoovWeb and Mobify are offering mobile retail infrastructure SaaS services. This is the easiest way to go rather than build in-house for all except tha largest/highest volume merchants.

LTP Team: What kind of role can big data analytics play in creating targeted campaigns?

Kristina: Business intelligence is increasingly being used in marketing and companies like Domo are making big data consumable for the less analytically minded and/or resource-constrained marketer. Other companies like Birst and Tableau offer more analytical marketers with valuable tools for benchmarking performance of marketing programs. The key to better targeting lies in understanding where the buyer is in the purchase lifecycle -- how many downloads of product information has the customer made to date, what has a customer purchased in the past, even what is the weather like in the customer's home town, etc. can be used to design unique messages and offers.

Kristina will be moderating the panel TM1: Enabled by Cloud, Experienced by Mobile on Day-2 at The Money Event.

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