Mobile payments, sometimes referred to as mobile money, mobile money transfer, and mobile wallet, denotes payment services operated under financial regulation and performed from or via a mobile device. Here, a consumer instead of paying with cash, check, or credit cards can use their mobile phone to pay for a wide range of products and services.
With mobile payment being adopted all over the world in diverse ways, the combined market for all types of mobile payments is projected to reach more than $600B globally by 2013. At the same time in developing countries, mobile payment solutions have been deployed as a means of extending financial services to the community. Interestingly, the use of mobile payments in developing countries have enticed public and private funding by organizations such as the USAID and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Benefits of Mobile Payments for Businesses
Mobile payments currently, are proving to be a great asset for businesses willing to make significant savings in cost over complex cash register systems. Mobile payment executed with mobile credit card processing, does away with the need for procuring expensive specialized equipment or custom software – making transactions a reality from any smartphone. And what makes mobile payments an instant hit with the masses is the familiar easy-to-use technology most customers and employees use – simplifying and shortening the learning curve.
Another significant benefit mobile payments brings to businesses is that it allows automation of inventory tracking and staying on top of consumer trends, thus making customer preferences even more transparent. In fact, by collecting mobile payment data, small businesses have access to the kind of big data earlier available only to big businesses only.
Moreover, the data amassed by businesses of consumer trend data can help figure out what products sell best at a certain time of day, on a specific day of the week, month or year. So, a business owner by analyzing and addressing these customer preferences can benefit its businesses with rising sales and enhance customer satisfaction.
Effects of mobile payments on businesses
Mobile payments besides promoting seamless transaction can offer enhanced security for your business. Here’s how:
Simplicity of use. Processing a credit card from your customer using your mobile phone is relatively easy.
Enhanced Security. Processing your credit card with a smartphone is safer because here you are using a processor that is PCI compliant and uses SSL encryption to make sure sensitive information is completely secure. In fact, the app should rightly be password protected, and include additional safety measures in the event of theft or loss of the phone.
Integration of incentive programs. Reach out to your customer all the time by integrating loyalty and incentive programs into the mobile payment applications. This way, your customers instead of having to keep up with punch cards or key ring tags, all of their information is stored in the application each time they make a purchase with their mobile device.
Can offer credit card payments. Mobile payments is an asset for cash-only business, as they can now start to accept credit card payments through a mobile payment program – thereby, improving sales and increasing their customer base as well.
Can track customer trends and inventory. Mobile payments prove to be effective for small businesses in tracking inventory and customer behavior; thus helping you increase product sales and improve customer service.
Saves Time and Money. Quick payment is considered to be the most significant part of a shopping or dining experience, as most customers hate to wait. Integrating mobile payments into your business process will help you to accommodate more customers in the same period of time. Similarly, mobile payments can also save money as some mobile payment companies charge less per transaction than credit card companies, which after all is equivalent to direct savings for the business owner.
5 Prominent Mobile Payment Applications to Boost Your Business
- Google Wallet
Google Wallet, is one of the most popular mobile payment app, even though it now supports a few selected handsets. One of its basic requirements is an NFC chip, which is now being integrated into many of the latest mobile devices. It is fairly simple to set up this payment system. All you need to do is create a PIN number and enter their card information into the app, and the back of the phone should be tapped against the terminal supplied for payment. Moreover, Google Wallet offers enhanced security in a way that if you (the user) lose your phone; you can use the app’s built-in cloud connection to shut down your mobile payment account.
- Apple’s Passbook
Introduced with iOS 6, Apple Passbook app works by scanning 2D barcodes so as to facilitate managing your movie, concert and airline tickets as well as loyalty cards and coupons for selected merchants. Here you get location and time-based notifications when you are in the vicinity of a retail outlet or café where you can use your Passbook; and even receive notifications when your movie, concert or airline ticket is due soon.However unlike Google Wallet, Passbook do not allow you to use your debit or credit card for purchases in-store, but it allows you to use BillGuard to view your bank balance and other related information on your iPhone.
- Square Wallet
Square wallet is a popular ‘location-based’ mobile payment app for iOS and Android. Square allows you to link your credit card to the app, and instead of paying directly with the credit card, it calls for the use of merchant cards. Its latest Pay with Square app allows users to make their mobile payment just by entering and saving their name. Square app also allows you to purchase in-store gift vouchers to be sent to other Square users.
Venmo is one of the most trusted mobile payment apps available for Blackberry, iOS and Android for transferring money between friends. All you need is to link your bank account, credit or debit card to the Venmo account. It works only between two parties with Venmo accounts. Moreover, Venmo app also allows you to share the transaction with a message on Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare.
PayPal, the popular mobile payment application allows you to send money between other PayPal users and friends. Available for both iOS and Android, the app allows you to easily send money to other users just like you would on the PayPal website. Moreover, you can view your past transactions in detail as well.
Mobile applications including mobile payment apps are now an integral part of any business –big or small. However, the key to the success of mobile app and mobile payment is how you promote them. Have you got a mobile payment app for your business?