Let’s time travel back, just 20 years ago, to the shopping mall. You’re making a purchase at a retail store, and the cash register is large, clunky, and painfully slow, even for 2004.
Fast forward to now where much has changed, and research anticipates contactless mobile payments to exceed one billion users globally by 2024. Customers can pay with their watch or phone just by tapping it on a card reader, and businesses can host an entire POS system on a mobile phone. A lot has changed in 20 years, and businesses must either adopt a modern and mobile payment infrastructure or risk becoming about as relevant as the cash register in a mall department store.
So how can you adopt mobile payments for your business, and how can you benefit from these payment services? Thanks to the advancements in payment technology, the answers are not difficult to find. From hardware equipment to specialized merchant services, here’s how you can use mobile payment services to grow your enterprise this year.
- Mobile payments have evolved significantly over the past 20 years, with current tech enabling payments through watches or phones.
- Major companies like Apple, Samsung, and Google have championed mobile payments through NFC-enabled digital wallets; businesses need compatible hardware for adoption.
- Adopting mobile payments is crucial for modern businesses to cater to broader audiences, streamline the checkout experience, and ensure operational relevance in the future.
Upgrade Your Legacy Equipment for Mobile Payments
The world’s foremost mobile phone manufacturers, Apple and Samsung started to foster the use of mobile payments as early as 2014 and 2015, respectively. By using near-field communication (NFC), Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay services turned each company’s mobile devices into highly secure digital payment wallets. Google was a little late to the party, but it also followed with its method called Google Pay in 2016.
Thanks to these modern payment solutions, credit card, and debit card users can now complete their purchases without swiping or inserting their cards at the point of sale (POS) terminals. Instead, they can tap their mobile devices against supporting POS terminals to process their payments securely and efficiently by way of a digital wallet.
Why Is Adding Mobile Payments Important to Businesses Today?
Contactless payments are quickly gaining traction among users, and it’s not just younger generations and tech-savvy consumers. Major card issuers such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express each have hundreds of millions of NFC-enabled (near-field communication) debit and credit cards in circulation. Further, the adoption of various digital wallet app options—including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Wallets—make accepting mobile payments a must-have for modern businesses.
Due to its simple yet effective way of making mobile payments, this method is one that is rapidly growing. Many enterprises are now focusing on making it a part of their checkout experience, whether they offer retail services or run other businesses in specific industries. With the promise of increased sales and a better reputation, it seems like it is par for the course to adopt a mobile payments solution.
But even as the adoption of tap-to-pay increases, contactless card and digital wallet payments through Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay need compatible hardware to work at POS terminals.
What Can You Do to Adopt These Mobile Payments Solutions?
Contactless payments are relatively new, only arriving in the U.S. in 2014. Because of this, outdated POS systems lack the ability to accept NFC-enabled credit and debit cards or mobile wallets. So, for businesses working with antiquated POS terminals, now is the time to upgrade to be able to better serve a wide swath of users with contactless cards and mobile wallets.
But not to fear—with the help of your payment processing partner, you can easily modernize your infrastructure and make sure your business is equipped to offer the latest payment processing hardware. So, if you’re operating with older hardware that only accepts EMV chip cards and swiped credit and debit cards, it’s time to talk to your payment processor and enter the modern era. Not only will this be a more secure option and allow for more efficient transaction processing, you’ll also deliver a better customer experience.
How Can Mobile Payments Help?
By accepting these mobile solutions, your business can cater to a broader customer base that now prefers using mobile payments. Accepting mobile payments streamlines the checkout experience for these customers, leaving them with a good impression of your business. After all, especially with a younger generation of patrons expecting modern technology, businesses not only need to but also benefit from meeting their customers where they are.
In the long run, this also future-proofs your operations for when these mobile solutions become the primary way to process payments. Instead of upgrading your payment infrastructure at the last minute, you can benefit from modern merchant services that will take on the challenge of changing times.Learn More
Use Card Readers to Turn Mobile Devices into POS Equipment
If the above information tells you anything, it’s the importance of modern payment terminals, including mobile POS systems that complement standard POS terminals. . But what if your business sells its services in the field? That’s where you can turn to mobile payment systems. There are many options available that plug into existing smartphones and tablets , such as the Swipe Simple B250 Reader available from Stax, to solve this problem effectively.
Some mobile card readers attach to modern smartphones or tablets to turn them into payment card processors, and some work on their own as separate devices. This means that these compact devices can work anywhere your customers are or wherever your services can go. A standalone mobile point-of-sale system, such as the Clover Flex or Dejavoo QD Series are great options for dedicated mobile payment transactions.
Offering mobile payment options is attainable for small businesses and large enterprises alike as well. These compact options are compatible with Apple, Android and other smartphones and have the full functionality needed to process payments in the field.
Leveraging Peer-to-Peer Payments
One trend gaining traction with mobile payments is the use of applications such as PayPal and Venmo for more than peer payments. Many businesses, particularly small businesses, are using mobile payment apps to allow their customers to leave their physical cards at home and submit payments directly from their Venmo, Cash App or PayPal account to the merchant, and the funds are then transferred to the merchant bank account. Because the customer already has their bank account, debit card or credit card information connected to the payment app, the payment can be completed easily within the familiar payment app ecosystem, creating a seamless user experience.
While the fee structures for this service vary depending on the provider, peer-to-peer (P2P) payments are much more than money transfers between friends. There are also several authentication measures, such as verifying the phone number of the recipient or using a QR code to validate that funds are being transferred to the correct account.
How Mobile Payments and Online Payment Options Intersect
For businesses doing business both in-person and online, you’ll find a lot of the widely used payment technology intersects. From a user experience perspective, making an online payment where all of your information needs to be entered manually is a huge hassle.
Many modern businesses now accept mobile wallets when processing an online payment, meaning the customer can simply click to pay, with all their shipping and payment information automatically populated. Not only is that easier for the customer, but it is also more secure than traditional payments as all mobile wallet payments use tokenization to secure the payment information—meaning the customer doesn’t physically enter their card information into a browser to complete a purchase.
This is the same technology as accepting digital wallet payments in person, so for businesses that implement standard POS and mobile payment options for in-person transactions and also do business online, you can serve all of your customers using the same payment technology.
How is This Relevant to Your Business?
With well-received trends such as pop-up stores and food trucks, businesses have found a lucrative model in mobile operations. Instead of waiting for customers to come to brick-and-mortar stores, you can now take your services to them. This increases your exposure and your ability to sell, while also cutting infrastructure costs. It’s a win-win situation from every aspect. It also applies to employees who deliver services through field services and delivery.
To go even further, the various types of mobile payments and NFC payments allow your business to move quickly and better service your customers. Mobile payment technology has come a long way in the last decade, not only in the NFC technology, mobile payment systems, and payment options available but also in its adoption by consumers of all ages. So, whether you’re reading this as a food truck owner, small retail business, professional services provider, or a multi-national large enterprise, mobile payments and digital payment trends are highly relevant to you.
What Can You Do to Adopt These Mobile Payments Solutions?
Mobile card readers are now supported by major credit card processors such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express. This means that you can now get modern payment solutions quickly via credible merchant services providers.
To implement mobile payments—or any payments for that matter—the first step is to choose a trusted payment processing partner. Your payment processor has a huge impact on what you pay and the experience you and your customers have. Choose a processor with POS hardware and software relevant to your business and the ability to scale if and when your business grows.
There is also a lot of research to do when evaluating options—it’s an important comparison to look at the cost and capabilities. At Stax, we want you to know how we stack up against the competition, which is why we frequently share a side-by-side analysis of our solutions compared to your other options. For more information, check out some of our comparison articles.
Now, let’s assume you made a choice you’re happy with and have all the equipment and software needed to process mobile payments. Educating your employees is the next hurdle to clear. Especially if the technology is new to your workforce, this is a make-or-break moment. Resistance to new technology can be a tough obstacle, so invest in training and make sure your employees are comfortable and well-versed. When your employees are on board, it’s far easier to get your customers accustomed to the new payment options.
Related Article: Your Definitive Guide to Mobile Payments
What is the Best Way to Use Mobile Payments?
One of the simplest ways to implement mobile payments is to turn your employees’ mobile phones and devices into credit card and debit card processors by using a plug-in card reader or accepting peer-to-peer payments such as Venmo or PayPal.
As a result, you can accept payment cards and other payment types virtually anywhere you sell your products and services. Mobile card readers can also cut through the time it takes for them to accept payments for a sale or after delivering a service. To add to their advantages, some mobile card readers also help you in preventing cash tracking issues by connecting with your POS software.
Of course, another simple option is to upgrade your POS options to handheld mobile terminals and a payment processor that supports your business in more ways than hardware.
At Stax, our modern payment services focus on going beyond ordinary merchant accounts. The Stax Platform allows for mobile swipe capabilities through our Stax mobile app. You can also key in payments or add the optional mobile reader to start swiping. Enjoy the ease and convenience of sending invoices and storing payment methods through the Stax Platform.
Contact us at Stax for a custom quote today to learn how our solutions can help you keep up with mobile payments this year. We will be happy to help you find the right solution for your enterprise.
FAQs about Mobile Payments
Q: What are mobile payments?
Mobile payments refer to transactions made using a mobile device, such as a smartphone or smartwatch, rather than cash, checks, or physical credit cards. This can include online purchases, in-app payments, or physical store transactions using digital wallets or mobile payment apps.
Q: What are NFC mobile payments?
NFC mobile payments utilize Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to allow two devices, typically a mobile device and a payment terminal, to communicate when they’re within a few centimeters of each other. This enables quick, tap-to-pay transactions without the need for physical contact.
Q: Why should merchants adopt mobile payments?
Merchants should adopt mobile payments to provide a faster, more convenient payment experience for customers, cater to a broader audience, streamline the checkout process, and stay competitive in the modern market. Additionally, it can reduce physical cash handling and cater to tech-savvy consumers’ preferences.
Q: How can you accept mobile payments in your business?
To accept mobile payments, businesses need to upgrade their point-of-sale (POS) systems to ones that support NFC or mobile payment apps. They can also use mobile card readers that attach to smartphones or tablets, or integrate with payment platforms that offer digital wallet options.
Q: Are mobile payments secure?
Yes, mobile payments are generally secure. They often employ advanced encryption and tokenization technologies, ensuring that payment information is protected. Digital wallets, like Apple Pay and Google Pay, don’t store actual card details but use encrypted tokens for transactions. Users also have added security layers like biometrics or passcodes for authentication.