Mobile Payments: A Strategic Forecasting Approach

Isabella Mackensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Summary: Business environments have undeniably become increasingly dynamic throughout the last decades. Economies around the world have been and still are impacted by changes of great importance including an almost infinite number of technological innovations. Many products and behaviors have been transformed by digital technology; thus the digitization of everyday payments seems to be a logical next step. The specific properties of mobile phones, their wide distribution and their users’ behavior characterize mobile phones as especially suitable for payment activities. Academic literature has shown considerable interest in mobile payments but mostly addressed the current state and characteristics rather than the potential developments of mobile payments. To fill this research gap, this thesis uses a strategic forecasting approach to gain insights into the future of mobile payments in Germany and in the United States of America. The guiding research question is: How can strategic forecasting methods be used to analyze the future of mobile payments? Strategic forecasting refers to the joint application of various forecasting methods that aim to identify strategic opportunities generated by environmental turbulences. The methods, which are implemented in the empirical part of this thesis, include ‘Business Cycle Analysis’, ‘Trend Analysis’, and ‘Expert Interviews’. The conducted trend analysis, the assessment of the logistic fits, and the associated forecasts show that the technical infrastructure in Germany and in the USA is ready for mobile payments. It is argued that the strong interdependence between the involved key players is currently holding back the successful dissemination of mobile payments; a standard was found to be necessary. Simultaneously, the factors that influence the successful dissemination of mobile payments need to be addressed appropriately. Overall, this thesis obtains several findings and provides insights into the future of mobile payments. According to the strategic forecasting methods, mobile payments are going to be a certain element of future society.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages138