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Mobile payment technologies in retail: a review of potential benefits and risks

Emmeline Taylor (Department of Sociology, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 8 February 2016




Retailers and suppliers are facing the challenge of reconfiguring systems to accommodate increasingly mobile customers expecting multichannel options supporting quick and secure digital payment. The purpose of this paper is to harness the learning from the implementation of self-checkout and combines it with available information relating to mobile scanning and mobile point-of-sale (MPOS).


In review of the literature, the paper provides an overview of different modes of mobile payment systems, and a consideration of some of the benefits that they offer to retailers and their customers. The main focus, drawing upon telephone interviews with retail security professionals in Australia and New Zealand, is on anticipating and mitigating against the potential risks, vulnerabilities and impact on shrinkage.


With the market being flooded with software and products, retailers are exposed to a compelling case for mobile payment, but it was found that they are not as cognisant of the potential risks.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed on the different permutations of mobile POS and how it impacts on the customer journey and rates of internal and external theft.

Practical implications

Suggestions for future empirical research on the risks and vulnerabilities that moving to mobile payment can usher in are provided.


The paper links research from diverse fields, in particular criminology, to elucidate the potential impact of mobile technologies on retail theft and internal technological and process issues, before offering possible solutions.



Taylor, E. (2016), "Mobile payment technologies in retail: a review of potential benefits and risks", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 44 No. 2, pp. 159-177.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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