Shopping isn’t what it used to be. For the first time this past Holiday Season, more people shopped online than in stores. People spent close to $5 billion dollars during this past Thanksgiving and Black Friday online, rising 14% from a year ago.
Another trend is the use of mobile payments, using your smartphone to pay for products and services. According to research, nearly one out of five smartphone users will use it by the end of 2016. Mobile payments in 2015 totaled $8.71 billion and this year it is expected to more than triple to $27.05 billion.
There are two main ways mobile wallets work: wireless technology called NFC or by scanning a code like a QR code. The most popular mobile payment apps are Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android (Google) Pay which all rely on NFC. You upload your credit card or bank information to the app, and when it is time to purchase, select the credit card you want to use in the app, authorize it with your fingerprint, and then wave or tap your phone on the credit card device to complete the sale.
For the apps, it depends on what type of smartphone you have. Android users can use Android Pay and Apple iPhone users Apple Pay. If you own a Samsung smartphone, you can use Samsung Pay in addition to Android Pay. The store or restaurant needs the new NFC equipment in order for this to work. Samsung Pay has a back-up where the phone can mimic the old-school magnetic signals produced by card swipes.
With the popularity of mobile wallets, many others are also popping up with their version of mobile payments, such as Wal-Mart, Starbucks, and even banks such as JPMorgan Chase. Starbucks’ mobile app has over 16 million users that account for over 20% of its purchases. While Wal-Mart hasn’t launched yet, 22 million use the Wal-Mart mobile each month, accounting for half of its online orders.
Wal-Mart’s new mobile payment system uses QR codes. Shoppers open up the app and then activate the camera function to scan a QR code. That connects the phone to the items they’re purchasing. Chase Pay will also rely on QR scanned by a register when it debuts next year.
The biggest reason for the huge jump? Mobile payments are more convenient, have extra security features, and you don’t have to fumble for the right card in your purse or wallet with a cup of coffee in your hand. The apps are also preinstalled with every new smartphone now and more stores are switching over to the new technology every day.
People are carrying less cash than ever before; they are paying for things on their phones, making even a credit or debit card more redundant, never mind cash. But is this a good thing or a bad thing for your business and will it make you more money or less? There are many benefits to cashless payments as they can be safer, they leave a trail meaning that it is harder for people to commit crimes and with increased technology transactions are more secure than ever before.
As well as this though, offering your customers different ways to pay makes life much easier for them and will result in more money for you. You need to make sure you have hassle-free credit card processing from a company like HBMS so that it doesn’t become complicated or a burden but just think about how much easier it would be for people to part with their money of there was the option.
Just think about how quickly you would part with small change if you had it, to help a good cause or to play a quick game of pool in the pub – but you always need cash. Imagine you could tap your card, or even better, your phone? How quickly would you make those transactions? There would be no rummaging around for money, no waiting for change or unable to get change, it’s a quick and easy transaction that was more appealing to everyone.
The mobile phone, the thing everyone carries around with them 24/7, looks at all the time, uses for entertainment, finding out information, emails, texts, and social media, to name a few. Mobiles phones are used for just about everything, and these days the thing they are probably used least for is being phones.
Adapting to mobiles is the future of business. Having your website mobile friendly is a must, but if you want your business to thrive then being mobile-ready in every way and that means investing in the technology that allows people to use their phones. For example, getting a credit card reader for phones is something that will mean faster transactions, less queuing and improved customer experience. This will also mean that your sales figures and customer behaviors will be recorded automatically, giving you instant access to a wealth of useful data to help keep control of stock and plan your next marketing campaigns.
A mobile credit card reader means that your payments post much quicker which means that you get the money faster and don’t have to worry about cash flow and whether the payment has gone through and as soon as the transaction is complete, you can text or email the receipts to the customer directly from the smartphone. This makes life easier for everyone and at the same time, it shows your customers that your company values their business and wants to give them the best service.