Major wireless carriers and banks are betting big on new payment technologies set to revolutionize the way that your customers pay for products and services. With the iPhone 5 rumored to included an NFC chip and most new Android devices already launching with this technology, it’s safe to say that mobile payments are here to stay.
Currently billed as the “death of the physical wallet” NFC or Near field communication allows your customers to pay for products or services from their phone, without ever having to swipe their credit card. Embracing NFC and other payment technologies early on is actually not as hard (or costly) as you may think.
Google Wallet – Available Now With Limited Support
First announced in May 2011, Google Wallet currently allows those with a Citi MasterCard and an Android phone on the Sprint network to pay anywhere that MasterCard Paypass is accepted. With very limited support it may seem like Google Wallet is doomed to fail, however recent reports indicate that Google is working on Wallet 2.0 which is said to support more credit cards, and bring support to more phones through additional carriers.
Google Wallet uses technology that is already built into Mastercard Paypass terminals. If you don’t have a credit card reader that works with PayPass, you should be able to get one through your current payment processor.
Isis Mobile Wallet – The Real Game Changer?
Isis is similar to Google Wallet, and also uses NFC technology for mobile payments. Unlike Google Wallet however, Isis is expected to launch with much broader support and already has American Express, Capital One and Chase on board. This means that there will be support for more popular cards like American Express Blue Cash and the Capital One Venture Card. In addition to winning the popularity contest with the banks, Isis is expected to support more wireless carriers than Google Wallet. Phones that support Isis Mobile Wallet are coming to AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon this summer.
Isis Mobile Wallet will be available to consumers and busineses in Austin Texas and other select test markets this summer. There is no official word of a nationwide rollout, however the general consensus is that this will probably happen by the end of 2012.
Since it uses NFC, Isis will also require an NFC-enabled payment terminal which you will be able to acquire with a merchant account. Isis is also expected to offer built in loyalty rewards programs making it a win, win for customers and merchants who embrace the new payment technology early on.