LONDON: 2015 is the year that smartphones will finally make a breakthrough in retail payment according to the annual TMT Predictions report published by Deloitte.
Launching the report, Paul Lee, head of research at Deloitte TMT, said that the take-off for NFC-enabled in-store payment would be limited, with a predicted move from under 0.5% usage to 5%.
But he argued that this would begin a snowball effect, as more and more people saw the technology being used and then decided they could leave home themselves with just a phone to make purchases. The anticipated introduction of Apple Pay in the UK during 2015 will also give the sector a major boost.
The report expected that the largest card issuers in the UK would activate NFC-smartphone payments by the year end as all the factors necessary for mainstream adoption came together to the mutual satisfaction of financial institutions, merchants, consumers, technology vendors and carriers.
Another consumer-related development will be the further expansion of click and collect. Deloitte forecasts a 20% increase in click-and-collect locations across Europe to around 500,000 as this becomes "a fundamental part of ecommerce".
With home delivery unable to cope with the volume of ecommerce, click-and-collect options will spread, with more lockers being set up for example, and more partnerships such as that between eBay and catalogue store Argos which allows consumers to purchase items on the online retailer's site and have them delivered to the catalogue store for pick-up.
Lee noted that reverse logistics were also an issue for online retailers, as free delivery meant there were often a lot of returns to be processed. There was, he said, lots of opportunity in refining the click-and-collect proposition.
In media, old-fashioned print books are proving resilient, accounting for 80% of all book sales in developed markets. And short-form video is not about to threaten TV – in 2015, total time spent watching short-form video online will represent under 3% of all video watched on screens according to Deloitte.
Of several other much-touted developments – drones, internet of things, 3D printing – Lee said these would not impact on the consumer to any great extent, but would rather be the focus of enterprise.
Drones, for example, had uses in delivering to remote locations or in maintenance activities such as checking offshore wind turbines. The internet of things could generate valuable information for manufacturers, such as the data fed back by domestic smart meters. And 3D printing was particularly helpful in prototyping products.
Data sourced from Deloitte; additional content by Warc staff