Expanded smartphone usage seen benefiting retail, commerce


Smartphones today are more powerful than the first computers and with the advent of cheaper smartphones, consumers demand for more applications and services.

Earlier, Ericsson ConsumerLab identified consumer trends for 2014, and one of these trend is the demand for applications and services for smartphones.

In a statement, Michael Björn, head of research at ConsumerLab said that, “The most important trend we see is the mass demand for apps [applications]and services across all industries and societal sectors—which has the potential to fundamentally change everyday life.”

“The fast global uptake of smartphones has completely changed the way we communicate and use the Internet,” he added.

With those findings, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) through its corporate wireless enterprise arm, Smart Enterprise, is introducing a set of M2M (machine-to-machine) solutions that aims to benefit credit, sales and mobile payment operations for local businesses.

“We admit its not really great, great yet, even the world it’s not really big. But I mentioned earlier for the three areas why these can be potentially too big, [M2M solutions],” said Eric Alberto, PLDT executive vice president and head for Enterprise, International and Carrier Business.

He added that, “Your smartphones, all of you have smartphones today right, I was told your smartphones today is more powerful than the first idea of the computer.”

Smart Enterprise recently launched Smart M2M Credit, M2M Sales and M2M Pay in an effort to expand its M2M offerings in the mobile platform, digitizing operations for credit investigations, sales monitoring, and wireless card payments.

The official also said that, “This computing power will increase and more so and it become more affordable. Big data and analytics to know more about the customer will drive and clamor to more M2M interconnectivity.”

Use of mobile phone
The Smart M2M Credit solution is a mobile credit investigation application with tracking features needed by credit investigators.

The Smart M2M Sales solution is a mobile customer relationship management tool that provides field personnel with relevant information and automates sales processes to enhance customer experience.

Smart Enterprise said that merchants and other businesses can maximize their sales with the M2M Pay solution, as this app expands their card payment modes with the bundled card swiper dongle, iOS and Android devices, and connectivity.

The bundled Smart M2M Pay allows for credit-card payments to mobile devices through a detachable card swiper, which maximizes opportunities for purchases of customers without the need for cash.

“Now we enter a new phase of rapidly diversifying smartphone use—and people are looking for apps across all sectors of society. This includes everything from shopping and daycare to communication with authorities, and transportation,” Bjorn said.

The study also noted that a total of 51 percent of consumers globally feel that their mobile phone is the most important piece of technology—and for many it is becoming the primary device for Internet use.

The increase of cheaper smartphones is providing more consumers with the opportunity to participate online. In India, Indonesia and the Philippines, the smartphone is now the primary Internet device.

“M2M technology has been a viable solution in digitizing manual processes, that’s why PLDT is constantly investing in technology and upgrading our core network to prepare for the anticipated trend for these kinds of innovations,” Alberto said.


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