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Mobibucks’ service may not be the most sophisticated, but “it certainly is convenient and will most likely work for smaller purchases,” says Megan Bramlette, director of knowledge management at Auriemma Consulting Group. Moreover, consumers do not have to download anything extra to use the service, she adds.

But there still needs to be critical mass. Indeed, “if you bring consumers, merchants will come, but you need to bring a lot of consumers,” says Todd Ablowitz, president of Centennial, Colo.-based Double Diamond Group LLC.

But explaining what consumers must do to redeem a coupon or make a purchase may pose a challenge because many consumers are not used to entering their mobile phone number plus a PIN to make a purchase or redeem a coupon, Ablowitz says.

Challenges aside, “mobile-based marketing and payment services are the way to go,” Ablowitz says. Though more companies launching services, it still remains to be seen which models will receive the most traction, he contends.

Payments Source, March 22, 2011