Mobile commerce (m-commerce) is the delivery of electronic commerce (e-commerce) capabilities directly into the consumer's hands via wireless technology and the placement of a retail outlet into the customer's hands anywhere. This form of e-commerce allows businesses to reach consumers directly, regardless of their location. The term m-commerce is a variation of the e-commerce term used for business being done over the Internet. M-commerce gained momentum in Europe and now is reaching the United States. Internet commerce presently requires the consumer to be attached to a desk with a computer terminal to conduct transactions. M-commerce allows the consumer to purchase, do banking, download cash or tickets, etc., when you need to, wherever you are, simply by using a mobile phone. M-commerce is a part of e-commerce—it is just more user-friendly than current systems. In most countries, the penetration of mobile phones is much larger than the penetration of Internet access (Duffey, 1998).
M-commerce is the integration of technologies using wireless devices for conducting business over the Internet. M-commerce can be done by computer solutions, such as laptops and palmpads, with wireless devices attached to connect to the Internet, or by using newly adapted cellular phones to receive digital transmissions of Internet material to these phones. These are all linked by software and service providers that provide the platform on which to conduct these operations.
A new business model is emerging: the integration of wireless networks with data communications, combined with e-commerce, to create wireless e-commerce. Wireless e-commerce will generate significant revenues within the next several years from such services as wireless banking, wireless stock trading, and a variety of wireless-based shopping ventures. Wireless communications and e-commerce are already multibillion dollar global businesses. The integration of mobile communications with e-commerce already started. For years, companies in the vertical markets, such as field repair, have been utilizing mobile communications networks to enable their technicians to order parts and check inventories. The opportunities for wireless e-commerce in the horizontal markets, such as traveling executives, and the consumer market are generating much appeal (Reiter, 1999).
M-commerce is a quantum leap of technology applications and will not be limited simply to banking and brokerages. Other market uses will emerge. Payment options are one example being tested now, in which products in a store may be scanned as one walks out and automatically deducted from a Smart Card that stores cash on it from your local bank. Airline and rail connections will be enhanced with ticket reservation and payment facilities. Mobile phone users will also have access to new online auction houses to submit bids and check developments by use of the cellular phone (Brokat, 2000).