Direct-response merchants, including many that sell products online and through TV infomercials, are reaping tangible benefits from the Durbin amendment that cut their debit card transaction costs.
But all the buzz about mobile payments so far does not add up to much for merchants catering to home TV and e-commerce shoppers, Brookfield, Wis.-based Direct Response Forum said in a March 15 report.
The organization, whose board members include executives from Expedia Inc., L.L. Bean Inc. and Rosetta Stone, conducted an online survey earlier this year involving 110 global merchants that handle primarily card-not-present transactions through toll-free telephone calls or online.
Some 45% of respondents said new Federal Reserve rules that went into effect Oct. 1 and essentially halved issuers’ debit-interchange revenue also resulted in lowering merchants’ business costs. Another 92% of respondents said they do not plan to offer consumers discounts between credit, debit or check payments or discounts within a card brand based on the type of card used.
The majority of respondents, 63%, said 2% or less of their total sales come from mobile devices. Another 17% said mobile devices account for more than 10% of sales. The remainder were not sure.
Many respondents indicated their internal systems are not yet capable of determining whether e-commerce purchases are coming from personal computers or mobile devices, the organization said.
While mobile payments are viewed as an important growth area, the organization said it is too early to focus on mobile commerce as a major focus this year.
"It's important to realize that mobile commerce is in its infancy while there are larger opportunities for card-not-present merchants to capitalize on now," such as improving payment acceptance for international consumers and reducing transaction fees, Chantal Gaspie, the organization's executive chair, said in a statement. "Mobile commerce will be important, but the volume is just not there yet to deploy resources away from other important initiatives."
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