After this morning's session on 'Affiliate Mobile 101: Kick-start Your Mobile Success', where Ranatunga and Michael Long; of Hotels.com, got stuck into all things mobile across the performance marketing sector, Ranatunga took time out inbetween attending sessions to answer some questions.
Head of mobile for the UK and Ireland; Ranatunga, who worked at comparison site uSwitch before joining Tradedoubler in 2009, said the network is now in the process of trialling a new service, integrated with a 'digit wallet application' - that allows users to store forms of mobile payment, such as tickets, store cards and boarding passes etc. The application cannot be named as yet.
Digital Wallet Boom
As reported in PerformanceIN last month, the digital wallet boom is yet to be fully embraced by the UK, whereas more US companies, such as Urban Airship, Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), Visa, Mastercard and the PayPal continue to innovate the digital wallet scene.
While keen not to reveal too much, Ranatunga, said: “There is a lot of opportunity in the digital wallet space and it's about tapping into that opportunity.
“We are in early stages so I can't say too much, but we wanted to trial it on a small scale with some of our trusted partners – to test the water first. There are a lot of complexities around the system we are working with, which may in itself be a reason that digital wallets have not caught on as much in the UK.
“By trialling it we can look at these things, get feedback, and get it right before launching on a wider scale.”
Ranatunga, whose personal top apps include Google Maps, Spotify, Stick Cricket and Bar Tab, said admirable big brands who are constantly looking to pushing their mobile offering further, include The Body Shop, Papa John's Pizza, and Hotels.com
Ranatunga, whose top mobile tips involve 'getting the basics right' when it comes to mobile housekeeping and ensuring that a businesses online and offline teams work more closely together, also predicts that near field communication (NFC) will be the next big major development in terms of the mobile/performance marketing landscape.
“I think a year down the line NFC could be the biggest thing in the affiliate space, Ranatunga said.
“It just needs the likes of Apple to get on board, as if Apple becomes NFC-enabled we would then see retailers upgrading their terminals and this would be a huge opportunity.”
An iPhone user himself, Ranatunga, who said Tradedoubler is on course to track 100% of its clients through mobile by the end of 2013, also confessed to being a serial 'dual-screener' himself and said the general uptake of dual screening has been reflected in Tradedoubler's mobile statistics.
Ranatunga added: “I don't have a TV, but I will be on my phone while watching the TV on my laptop.
“At Tradedoubler we too also see the affects of dual screening in our sales figures as there is a massive spike in the evenings.”
Tradedoubler's chief executive officer, Rob Wilson, echoed Ranatunga's views on the digital wallet scene and said the company was working on a very 'compelling offering'.