The aim of this report is give a general overview about Mobile E-Commerce or M-Commerce and its different issues in the actuality.
Day by day, new technologies come up bringing new ways of communication and interconnection, using the great network: Internet. This network, in addition, opens a wide door of electronic business opportunities known as E-Commerce (Roehl-Anderson, 2010). In the actuality, and with the development of new technologies in mobile devices area, make electronic commerce is more accessible, fast and mobile (Antovski & Gusev, 2009).
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This new E-business model is known as Mobile E-commerce or M-Ecommerce. According with Antovski & Gusev (2009), M-Commerce is defined as any transaction with monetary value that is conducted via a mobile telecommunications network. M-Commerce like Ecommerce can be B2B (business to business), P2P (person to person) or B2C (business to customer) oriented. The framework divides into couple sub areas based on user’s distribution criterion. Mobile Ecommerce addresses electronic commerce via mobile devices, where the consumer is not in physical or eye contact with the goods that are being purchased.
Also referred to as handheld devices, are generally poket-sized devices with computing capabilities (including smartphones, PDAs, etc. ). These devices generally offer robust functionality without the restriction associated with heavier, tethered equipped (Harris, 2010).
E-commerce (electronic commerce or EC) is the buying and selling of goods and services on the Internet, especially the World Wide Web. In practice, this term and a newer term, e-business, are often used interchangeably. For online retail selling, the term e-tailing is sometimes used (Harris, 2010).
A cellular telephone with built-in applications and Internet access. Smartphones provide digital voice service as well as text messaging, e-mail, Web browsing, still and video cameras, MP3 player, video viewing and often video calling. In addition to their built-in functions, smartphones can run myriad applications, turning the once single-minded cellphone into a mobile computer.
Mobile E-commerce infrastructure
The mobile e-commerce evolution is being fuelled by the same forces that enabled ecommerce by PC users (Buccafurri, 2010).
According with Antovski & Gusev (2009), there has been considerable investment in mobile e-commerce by banks, hardware providers, cellular operators, and content providers that is leading mobile consumers to eventually have the same satisfactory experience, in terms of content and variety, that they have come to appreciate from their PC Several banking projects are underway to fund the payment architecture needed to address the mobile consumer. MasterCard International announced in May, 2000 that it would launch a fund for start-ups and established companies dedicated to the development of new roducts and services involving smart cards, e-commerce and m-commerce that strategically supports MasterCard’s member institutions (Winter, 2010). Visa, likewise, announced it was teaming up with Cyberbills and Aether Systems to create an “anytime, anywhere bill payment service”. Credit Mutual, a French bank, is teaming up with MasterCard International and Europay International on an EMV-compliant mobile commerce pilot in France. Included in this global agreement are hardware providers France Telecom, Oberthur Card Systems, and Motorola. Other pilots are planned in Germany, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, the UK and the US.
Hardware companies are equally important stakeholders in the mobile commerce revolution (Buccafurri, 2010). Efforts are underway in developing standards and forming partnerships and consortiums between industry leaders to establish the platform for building the mobile commerce industry. Cellular handset manufacturers are leading this effort with developing next generation digital phones that will carry voice and data over new communications networks that will rival the wired market for transmission speeds and internet access. The big three; Ericsson, Nokia, and Motorola control over 50% of the handset market worldwide.
They have formed an alliance called the Global M-commerce Standard. The objective of this alliance is to develop standards that will reduce the time to market for hardware, applications, and communications. Analysts predict that by 2003, there will be more cell phones that are capable of accessing the Internet than PCs. The ability of the cellular industry to quickly achieve worldwide standards like GSM, WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) and WAN (Wireless Application Network) has contributed to position they find themselves in leading the mobile commerce revolution.
The consortium has wisely included operators and financial institutions into the mix to make sure the services will keep up with the technology (Australian Interactive Media Industry Association, 2009). Privacy issues Privacy issues have always been a key reason for potential online consumers to avoid E-Commerce (Jun Xu, 2010). In the early days of E-commerce, a significant fraction of consumers thought that credit cards could be "snatched" off the Internet. Solid encryption technologies have reduced most of those fears, and for the most part, new consumers don't orry about losing credit cards while online (Cruz-Cunha, 2010). However, there remains some very real privacy issues associated with conducting transactions electronically, which may be exacerbated with the capacity to undertake mobile transactions. These include unauthorized access to stored data, especially personal information and transaction history. Security issues According to Francesco Buccafurri (2010), securing m-commerce may be even more difficult than protecting wired transaction.
Constrained bandwidth and computing power, memory limitations, battery life and various network configurations all come into play, raise the questions as to whether there will be adequate security for users without compromising the ease of use and speed. In the use of text messaging, a number of security issues have already been identified, and will extend to the use of m-commerce (Buccafurri, 2010). While a direct SMS message is relatively safe because it is encrypted for its transition from one mobile handset to the other, because of its store forward nature, messages are vulnerable to being corrupted.
Like voice messages, SMS' are stored on a server before being forwarded to the receiver. There is no mandatory encryption and access protection for storage. The only way to secure the entire transmission would be with end-to-end encryption. Messages exchanged between two service providers can also be violated in transit if the link between the two networks is not protected. If this information is payment details or authorities to make transactions, there is even more danger (Lee, 2009). The reliability of SMS messages is also in question.
Unlike in Europe, where message delivery confirmation can be obtained by pressing a three-digit code, no confirmation is issued in Australia. The capacity to check and ensure that sent messages are received will be essential to build and maintain trust in the use of m-commerce. Mobile technologies manufacturers are developing improved security for applications with authentication and encryption technologies. However, there are two trade-offs for increased security, namely price and style (Cruz-Cunha, 2010).
Mobile Client Device Technologies and Issues According to Antovski & Gusev (2009), the interactivity devices or mobile client devices currently most important to mobile e-commerce are mobile telephones, handheld computers, laptop computers, and vehicle-mounted interfaces. Hybrid devices are now appearing, such as the crosses between mobile phones and handheld devices (sometimes called smartphones), but the question remains as to what form the devices will ultimately take, which is an important issue for mobile system developers.
Usability will become more critical with handheld and phone devices, which differ from desktop and laptop computers in terms of their smaller screen sizes, less available memory, and limited input devices (Antovski & Gusev, 2009). Many handheld devices are limited to a few lines of text, and do not have traditional keyboards. One usability issue is the need for organizations to determine how people can best use applications and access information through different devices. Mobile devices have forced developers to carefully revisit both operating systems and applications software on a variety of platforms (Jun Xu, 2010).
Operating systems such as Microsoft’s Pocket PC and Palm’s PalmOS have been developed for handheld devices. Although this software meets some of the current needs, it has limited functionality. The creation of system software with increased functionality for devices with limited capabilities will be an ongoing challenge. Another important building block for this emerging infrastructure landscape may be the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP), which enables wireless devices such as mobile phones to access the Internet (Kr. Sharma, Sharma, & Raj, 2011). Many WAP-enabled devices have already appeared, although there is doubt as to whether WAP will become a globally accepted standard, especially with the popularity of Japan’s i-mode. Developers ultimately face the issue of deciding which set of protocols to accept, or risk the potential problems of working with multiple standards and/or choosing to ignore some.
Mobile devices applications issues
Many of mobile devices applications are currently constrained by technology limitations and issues described previously.
According Juhnyoung Lee (2009), there are two fundamental application issues that researchers and developers must address are what tasks do users want to do without regard for temporal or spatial constraints and how to provide support for these tasks through wireless applications. Mobile e-commerce payment systems can also benefit from wireless technology (Skeldon, 2011). One scenario involves a consumer not having to stand in line to make a purchase, but simply paying for an item though a wireless device.
Final payments might even be billed to a telephone company. Bluetooth technology may enable a list of available services to be generated automatically on a device when a user walks close to a Bluetooth-equipped cash register. Wireless technology is well suited for bringing e-commerce to automobiles and other forms of transportation (Lee, 2009). Traffic advisory systems can warn of impending traffic jams. Cars will eventually be able to report potential problems to service centres themselves. The service centre might even make minor adjustments to the car online.
Car-mounted devices will eventually allow regular Internet access, although safety issues of “browsing while driving” must be addressed. While most initial mobile commerce applications seem to be aimed at the business-to-consumer market, business-to-business and intranet applications are also appearing (Lee, 2009). Service technicians can be dynamically assigned new tasks and sent problem information while they are traveling. Sales people can go literally anywhere in the field and access product information and customer accounts, although the applications right now are still subject to the constraints of current wireless devices.
Organizations must address the issue of designing complex, robust applications that work well within these current (and any foreseeable) device limitations. Flexibility can be integrated into designs to enable future functionality. Conclusions Mobile electronic commerce enables the consumer to be able to conduct their business while on the move. In today’s fast-paced society, people are always looking to do everything on the go and do not want to be slowed down. Also, as technology changes throughout the years, people are now looking for their mobile devices to perform more tasks than ever before.
It seems logical for people to want access to the Internet through their mobile devices and to want to take care of their business through these devices. Through the origin of mobile electronic commerce, people are now able to conduct their business over the Internet without having to sit in front of their computer all day. This saves consumers time because they no longer have to be logged onto their personal computer at home or work. This allows consumers to be mobile and on the go. But, mobile electronic commerce has also helped the companies as well.
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