Mobile transactions have come a long way, but the purchasing process hasn’t yet been conceptualized in a manner much different from its four-wheeled predecessor, the shopping cart. In most cases, even mobile shoppers add items to a virtual shopping cart and then pay at the “checkout.” It’s a long, archaic process that mobile developers are still struggling to overcome.
Harper Reed is hoping to change that. The former chief technology officer for Barack Obama’s successful 2012 re-election campaign revealed in a recent speech that he is leading a development team working to create a new mobile commerce app — one he hopes will reinvent how consumers make mobile purchases.
It’s a bold claim, but Reed has a strong body of work behind him. His mobile app work for the Obama campaign was praised for its role in bolstering voter targeting and turnout. Now he believes a new app already in development will feature the best elements yet seen on some devices and bring additional offerings designed to break the current mold.
Reed’s comments on the new app came at the NEXT13 startup conference in Berlin in April.
Hoping for a “Push-Button” Solution
Because the app is in its early stages, Reed admits that none of its suggested features will be a sure thing. However, the ultimate goal of the mobile solution is no less ambitious.
In describing the components of the app, Reed pointed to the features of two of the best apps out there: Uber and Amazon. In the case of Uber, Reed was complimentary of its simplicity for pedestrians wanting to hail a taxi — a simple push of a button is all that is required to bring an available cab up to the curb.
Amazon, meanwhile, has implemented one-touch ordering and is starting to roll out same-day deliveries for some purchases.
Reed said he hopes to include the hallmarks of both apps in his new mobile payments app. Ultimately, the distinguishing characteristic of his current app-in-development is that it will streamline the mobile payment process, eliminating and consolidating steps to produce the most user-friendly experience possible without sacrificing security. An app that accomplishes those goals would likely enjoy instant popularity with customers seeking an easier payment method.
If it lives up to the hype, Harper Reed’s new app could be a huge hit in the mobile marketplace, which is still without a dominant mobile payments solution. Reed seems well aware of consumer interests and made a point of distinguishing functionality from usability.
Marketers will be wise to keep tabs on Reed’s new project, as well as any developments that come its way. They could be early tip-offs to how mobile payments will evolve in the next couple of years.
Mad Mobile is the leading provider of mobile-first solutions for the world's top companies and retailers.
Looking for a technology partner who can deliver amazing mobile solutions across multiple mobile interfaces?