Most merchants shouldn’t run to NFC just yet

NFC is once again generating a tremendous amount of buzz as a vehicle for mobile payments at the point of sale. But merchants that have yet to invest in mobile payments should monitor the market carefully as new NFC-based systems come online.

The problem with stand-alone retailer apps

New data from Nielsen indicates U.S. consumers are spending more time than ever in mobile apps, but the number of apps they use regularly isn’t increasing much. That’s a problem for retailers looking to leverage mobile with their own branded apps, but it also presents opportunities for aggregators.

PayPal inches closer to a usable mobile wallet

PayPal has added some new features to its mobile app that actually give users a reason to pay with their phones rather than credit cards or cash. But mainstream consumers still won’t use it unless it makes mobile payments almost as simple as the old, familiar methods.

Groupon continues to make strides in mobile

Shares of Groupon jumped today after Deutsche Bank analysts upgraded the stock, citing increased use of its mobile app. That indicates the company is making big strides in a very promising industry that is still in its infancy.

Do we really want a “more human” shopping experience?

The CEO of shopkick writes today that the key to success in mobile payments lies in creating a “more human” shopping experience by greeting customers as they enter the store and suggesting items they should buy, among other things. But I’m skeptical consumers want that level of interaction as they shop.

Mobile is the silver lining in Groupon’s fourth-quarter cloud

Shares of Groupon plummeted today after the company posted a disappointing fourth quarter and lowered expectations for the current quarter, but its users are increasingly taking advantage of the daily deals on their phones. That’s important because mobile will play a crucial role as the daily deals space evolves.