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Mobile Checkout with a Social Twist: A Prediction for 2013
By: Christine Geraci
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I came across this blog post detailing five big social media predictions for 2013. After thinking "Good gravy, where did this year go??" I delved into this tidy little list of predictions. I agree with much of it: Social TV will continue to evolve, as will social search, and YouTube. 
With much respect, I'd like to add a prediction of my own. 
We will see the rise of mobile checkout — but with social components. 
Mobile checkout, or the process of paying for merchandise using your mobile device, is catching on rapidly. Walmart is testing it. Starbucks announced mobile payment back in 2011. But understandably, there is still trepidation when it comes to security. Yet I think it's safe to say these details will be ironed out sooner rather than later, because of the sheer potential to connect with consumers via apps that allow them to pay for merchandise from their smartphones.
According to RetailCustomerExperience.com, "Walmart, along with Best Buy, Target and Lowe's, are among the companies that have signed on with the Merchant Customer Exchange, which is developing a mobile application that would allow customers to pay for purchases at participating retailers with their mobile devices."
A social component is inevitable, in my opinion. There's already one platform, PayTap, which allows people to connect via social networking to get their bills paid. I'm kind of incredulous that I haven't heard of any mobile payment app that also allows you to connect with others about your purchases. Sure, you could always do that on Facebook or via another social sharing app, but is there a mobile payment app that integrates seamlessly with other social networks, or provides its own platform for an even more customized experience among known store customers? If there isn't, I think there will be.

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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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