Sign2Pay tackles m-commerce conversion rates

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Mobile payments startup Sign2Pay is planning to raise conversion rates on mobile devices by streamlining the payments process for debit cards.

How? Simpler still – by allowing the user to authenticate a transaction via signature on a touchscreen smartphone or tablet.

The platform analyses over a thousand data points in a signature, making it more secure than traditional passwords and PINs. The authentication is done in real time, making it even harder for fraudsters to trick

In fact, security is on a par with biometric systems but without the need for additional hardware. Even better than biometric systems, if a signature is compromised it can be changed, unlike a fingerprint.

Repeatedly inputting bank account details into a mobile device is still fiddly and frustrating, despite their continually increasing size. This, on top of worries avout security, has meant that merchants are not cashing in on mobile traffic.

“The problem with mobile commerce is that nobody’s converting,” said founder Nicolas Mertens at TechCrunch Disrupt Europe, where the startup launched at the beginning of this week.

“The conversion rate on smartphone is 60 per cent lower than on desktop. The conversion rate on tablet is 30 per cent lower than on desktop. However their traffic is almost 40 per cent of total traffic. And next year it’s going to equal desktop so where is that loss in opportunity go? The merchants are losing a lot of money by not having solutions that are designed for mobile.”

Despite the simply solution, Sign2Pay has a lofty vision, hoping to become the “unified solution” for mobile debit payments. There are multiple different systems in different European countries for making online debit payments, and Sign2Pay is counting on the benefits its solution will have for m-commerce conversion rates to get merchants on board.

Some 3,700 European banks are supported from launch via Sign2Pay’s commercial banking partners. The company has started by focusing on Euro currency bank accounts only, for several reasons, Mertens said.

There is always the threat of PayPal, but the payments giant largely focuses on credit card payments, and has a small marketshare of payments in the European market. Mertens puts this to between five and ten per cent, and highlights the cultural difference in adoption of credit card versus debit. While the UK market may have been happy to adopt credit cards, he argued, other European markets aren’t quite so keen, making euro-centric markets the ideal place for Sign2Pay to launch.

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