Accepting payment for services is something that every business has to deal with from their customers, whether you run a retail store, food truck, or deal with multi-million dollar acquisitions. The way we pay has changed over time, and with advanced technology seeping into our lives, it’s no surprise that the way we pay for things is changing rapidly. Remember when your parents used to balance their checkbooks? But, now you go online to balance your budget at places like Mint? The rise of swiping and digital payments are taking over where checkbooks, credit cards, and gift cards have left off. Let’s take a look at the evolution of the consumer checkout experience.

Credit cards replaced a substantial percentage of cash and checkbook transactions, and smartphone-enabled digital wallets are slowly replacing credit cards — many are familiar with Google Wallet — which turns your smartphone into a digital wallet. It allows you to keep all your credit and debit cards in the cloud on highly secure Google servers. You can simplify your online shopping with one account for a more convent checkout, and you can lock your wallet remotely if you ever lose your phone.

Now, retailers can embed promo codes into their NFC processors which can then be redeemed automatically when shoppers check-out using their NFC enabled devices. Businesses are looking to boost in-store purchases on the bet that people are using their mobile devices while shopping, and by advertising these promotions throughout the store, it will encourage shoppers to buy things with their mobile devices.

Looking Ahead to the Future

By encouraging mobile purchases, every employee in a store is a potential cashier. You’ve surely walked into a restaurant or business where employees are using iPads to take orders and complete purchases. Apple is the biggest and most prominent retailer – obviously – that is using this new technology. Also, self-checkout isn’t just for grocery stores. JC Penny is looking to allow consumers to make purchases from anywhere in the store as soon as they’re ready to pay, which will reduce line congestion and sales friction. They hope to eliminate cash registers in the near future of 2014.

The future will continue to see more of this as security issues are addressed, and these transactions are made to be as secure as possible. Some people are only familiar with Google Wallet, but companies like Square, Flint, and shopping apps like Shopkick are leading the way when it comes to the future of purchases. Look for these products, and other rivals to pop up in 2013.

via: Merchant Warehouse