Over the last five years, great strides have been made in the payments sector. It all comes down to mobile technology, which makes it possible to pay for merchandise via digital handheld devices. Much like credits cards revolutionized the way payments were handled in the 1960s, mobile payments are set to radically change the face of business/consumer transactions by 2020.
What Is Mobile Payment Technology?
Mobile technology has brought about vast improvements in the way people talk, text and surf the Internet. Now these innovations have also moved into the payments arena.
|With mobile payment technology, you can perform the following functions:|
|Pay for items in-person or online with a single tap.|
|Have payments deposited to your account in seconds.|
|Securely store all of your credit and debit cards on your smartphone.|
|Shop, dine and commute on public transit without cash or plastic cards.|
The way mobile payments work is very simple — regardless of whether a payment is being done inside a store or from a remote location. At a store or restaurant, you simply pull out your smartphone at the time of checkout, tap the device and voila — transaction complete. In remote settings, such as when you’re at home or out for a walk, you simply tap a few prompts on a merchant’s shopping app and wait for the merchandise to arrive at your door. In both scenarios, the money will be drawn from a credit or debit account of your choice.
For businesses large and small, the benefits of mobile payment technology are numerous. Since the payments are being handled digitally, the money is drawn instantly from the customer’s account and deposited to your merchant account.
When you give customers the option of paying via mobile, you reduce the amount of cash that could be stolen, checks that could bounce and credit cards that could be subject to chargebacks. In addition to making transactions safer and easier for businesses, mobile payments eliminate the confusion involved with receipts and customer credits, since all that info is digitally attached to each transaction.
Mobile payment technology also makes things more convenient for consumers. Because the money is transferred electronically, you don’t need to have cash on hand when making a payment. Whether you’re buying something cheap or expensive, the amount is instantly deducted from your chosen account. You don’t need to flip through your purse or wallet for the right card, because all of your cards can be stored on your smartphone for instant access.
As far as theft is concerned, once all businesses accept mobile payments you won’t have to worry about cash, cards or checkbooks getting stolen. You’ll be able to make payments with the one device that you typically keep on hand at all times. In the event that your smartphone is stolen, you would simply have it deactivated from a remote location.
Mobile Payment Methods
Mobile transactions are handled through a method known as “tap and pay,” which allows customers to whip out their smartphones and exit a store with paid merchandise in minutes flat — all with just a tap. As mobile payment methods gain acceptance and popularity, stores and supermarkets are upgrading their terminals with tap-and-pay options. At many grocery stores, for instance, the terminal will allow you to select this method to pay for all the items you’ve scanned. Pointing your smartphone at the terminal, you scroll to the digitized version of the card you wish to use, tap it and take your merchandise.
For merchants who do business on-the-go, one of the most convenient ways to handle transactions is via portable handheld readers, which make it possible to accept payments from any location with Wi-Fi frequencies. This method can make things a whole lot easier for plumbers, carpet installers or anyone else whose business is carried out at multiple locations in a given day.
Portable readers are also a boon for transaction-handling in large warehouses, where customers and inventory are spread out across wide spaces. As an alternative to stationary terminals at warehouses, portable readers can be used by sales staff to check out customers at far ends of the floor, freeing up checkout lines in the process.
In many ways, the mobile payments boom is an extension of the possibilities initially laid out through online payment systems. PayPal, for example, has been one of the primary money-sending portals for people who buy products from merchants across the Internet.
By the same token, portals like PayPal have made it far easier to send funds to friends, relatives and business colleagues around the world in a matter of seconds. In other words, no more postage or money orders. With the technology for sending money online firmly in place, mobile payments were the logical next step. After all, mobile technology essentially brings the Internet right to your fingertips when you can’t be at your PC or laptop, such as when you’re out walking, commuting, dining or shopping.
Mobile Payment Credit Card Readers
Throughout the payments sector, the buzz surrounding mobile payment technology has been in full force since the late nineties. The notion was simple: since smartphones had changed the way in which people communicate, a similar revolution in payments was right around the corner. Only recently, however, has the public warmed to the concept of mobile payments. Much of this has to do with improvements in the technology that now make it a viable alternative to cash, checks and plastic.
Wireless credit card readers were among the first innovations on the digital payments front. Designed with portability in mind, card readers run on Wi-Fi frequencies and allow merchants to process customer payments in any setting.
While such readers have primarily been geared towards traveling merchants and door-to-door service people, wireless card readers have also been promoted to owners of small shops as a lightweight, paper-free alternative to large, cumbersome registers. But aside from making card purchases possible in remote settings, wireless readers have made little difference for the consumer public, which already uses credit and debit cards for the majority of purchases.
The true revolution in digital payments has come via mobile payment apps, in which you can select a product from the palm of your hand, follow a few prompts and be done with your purchase. So far, the most successful payment app has been the one launched in 2011 by Starbucks. Boosted by a daily rush of customers on the move, the
Other chains have been less successful with payment app technology, in part because it still requires a degree of fumbling around at a checkout counter — much like the fumbling that people already have to do with credit cards. But recent system breaches have shown just how unsafe it can be to swipe your card at a checkout terminal, and the retail industry’s belated upgrade to chip-and-pin technology does little to alleviate the burden of actually dealing with plastic. However, the chip-and-pin era could prove short lived once cordless terminals and single-tap payments become commonplace.
Mobile Payment Options for Small Businesses
For retailers, mobile payment technology removes a lot of the headaches involved with registers and paperwork. Unlike cash — which could possibly be stolen, destroyed, miscounted or lost in transit — digital payments go straight to your merchant account.
Unlike checks or credit cards, which are sometimes forged or counterfeit, mobile payment purchases are authorized with one-time sales codes, and the transaction only completes if the funds are available on the customer’s end. Mobile payment technology is also the preferable alternative to swipe-and-pay card readers, which wear out the magnetic strips on cards and make customer data vulnerable to hackers.
Essentially, mobile payment systems provide retail terminals with the following features:
Mobile payment options are especially advantageous for traveling merchants, such as anyone who sells products door-to-door or at outdoor markets from city to city. If you conduct an outbound business, the ability to take payments digitally spares you and your customers from needing cash on hand, let alone the correct amounts.
At outdoor markets, mobile payment apps put all that you need for accepting payments in the palm of your hand, no matter how far away you might be from the nearest electrical outlet. No need to haul heavy registers; no need to worry about cords and power supplies.
Mobile Payment Processing
Thanks to the instantaneous nature of mobile payment processing, the technology involved allows merchants to speed up their whole entire protocol. This amounts to faster checkouts, which is great for customers who wish to be on their way once they’ve decided on a purchase. When customers know that your outlet is efficient, they’ll be more inclined to return for future shopping.
Faster checkouts also lead to shorter lines, which free up store space and spare your staff from getting overworked during peak hours. With lines being cleared far quicker than before, you’ll be able to handle the daily flux of customers with fewer checkers on hand. You’ll also be able to clear out your store each evening in a timely manner so that you and everyone on shift can head home the moment it’s time to close.
You can also reduce significant amounts of paperwork with mobile payment processing at your disposal. For starters, receipts and returns become a whole lot easier to manage, because the information from each sale is digitally archived.
If a customer wishes to return an item, a paper receipt won’t be necessary since the item and sales data can easily be retrieved through digital sales records, which can also be used to prevent fraudulent claims of overcharges. These same technological features also make it easier to handle customer discounts and membership rewards, whether a sale is handled at a checkout terminal or with a portable payment device.
Merchants and customers also enjoy superior security with mobile payment systems, because digital transfers of currency are indestructible and virtually hack-proof. Unlike coins, checks and dollar bills, digital currency is impossible to steal and impervious to natural elements. In many ways, digital currency is a lot like its music-file equivalent, the mp3, which cannot get scratched, cracked or warped.
In terms of safety, the key difference between mobile and plastic card payments is the removal of the physical element. Even though digital transactions have long existed with credit and debit payments, card readers have been increasingly targeted by hackers, particularly in the U.S., which drug its feet on chip-and-pin adoption. The recent system breaches of Target and Neiman Marcus, which compromised the personal information of millions of customers, proved just how dangerous it can be to pay with plastic.
Mobile Payment Benefits
It’s important to understand with mobile payment technology that it doesn’t replace credit cards altogether — it simply stores them in digitized form. So instead of flipping through your wallet for the right card, you can browse right to it on the screen of your smartphone.
Considering how most people assign different cards for different expenses — debit cards for groceries, credit cards for electronics — the ability to have them stored in mobile form is a huge time-saver. Digitizing your cards onto a mobile wallet is also easy, because it can all be done with the camera function on your smartphone. With just a simple snapshot, your card info is securely stored for instant tap and pay access.
Another huge plus about mobile payment technology is that it deposits cash instantly to your merchant account whenever a customer taps their smartphone. When you stack this up against checks that could be counterfeit, credit cards that could be subject to chargebacks and cash that could be stolen before you even reach the bank, the benefits of mobile payments are beyond comparison. When the chips are low and you urgently need your total earnings to cover your business overhead, you won’t have to worry about payments taking too long to clear from a customer’s account.
Key among the mobile payment benefits throughout much of the world is that the technology allows you to dispense with cash. In affluent countries, this is the logical next step for today’s consumer, who typically never carries cash and instead opts to pay for things with credit or debit cards. But for people in the under-banked nations of the Third World, the ability to make payments without physical currency is a huge life changer.
There are some countries that have very few banks, and many villages are located miles away from the nearest branch location. In Kenya, the situation has been addressed by M-Pesa, a mobile payment service that is now used by two-thirds of the East African nation’s population.
Mobile Payment Risks
One of the most frequently asked questions about mobile payment technology is whether there are any risks involved. While it’s understandable that some people might initially be apprehensive about paying for merchandise through digital means, the fact of the matter is that mobile payments are the safest way to send and receive money.
The technology for mobile payments is fully encrypted. Since it doesn’t rely on the magnetic reading strips of credit and debit cards, customer data cannot be stolen by hackers. The string of security breaches that gripped the retail sector during 2013 would not have even occurred had the chains in question been equipped with mobile technology.
Mobile payment risks are also nonexistent when it comes to theft, simply because currency in digital form cannot be stolen. Sure, someone could steal your mobile phone, but they won’t be able to access your payment apps without the right authorization codes.
Furthermore, you can easily deactivate a lost or stolen smartphone from any remote location the moment it goes missing. Unlike wallets, which are often full of cards and bills that thieves can use, there really is no plausible motive to steal a smartphone. At the same time, you’re less likely to lose or misplace your smartphone, since it’s the kind of item you keep on hand at all times for various activities — as opposed to a wallet, which you might slip into one of your pockets and hardly even think about during a given day.
Mobile Payment Apps
As the sales industry readies itself for the anticipated mass shift towards mobile payment transactions, many restaurants and retail chains have jumped to the forefront of this revolution. Some businesses are offering shop-specific payment apps, in which you can browse a store’s inventory from the palm of your hand and tap on the items you want, and then make a tap payment. At restaurants, mobile payment apps are slowly replacing paper bills, cash tips and stops at the checkout stand. With a restaurant app, the total is sent to your smartphone for you to tap and pay as you finish desert, while the tip amount can be factored in and allocated to your waiter.
Other features that now appear in various mobile payment apps include time and location notifiers. For instance, if you’re walking near the location of a retailer that you typically frequent, there are apps that will notify you of sales going on at that chain. If you’ve booked a flight or bought tickets for a concert or play, many apps will signal you with reminders as time draws near the departure date or event in question. From a business standpoint, location notifiers are bound to be the wave of the future for sales advertising, since mobile users are less likely to check newspapers and other old-fashioned forms of media.
On store-specific mobile payment credit card apps, many businesses are incorporating various other customer benefits into the technology, such as membership rewards and loyalty points. When it comes to points redemption, mobile loyalty cards provide a further customer incentive to visit participating stores with greater frequency — unlike physical cards, which typically get lost or forgotten about in the backs of wallets. Apps are also the new medium for coupons, which you can redeem in participating stores simply by showing the offer on your smartphone screen at the checkout counter. There is no further need to cut coupons from your local newspapers or print them off retail websites.
Native Merchant Services
Are you looking for a safe, secure and easy way to accept mobile payments — without paying the high processing fees that companies typically charge for their services? Native Merchant Services is here to meet your needs.
|Operating as a full-service ISO, we offer the following services to our business clients:|
|Mobile payment processing|
|Merchant Rewards Program|
|Guaranteed lowest rates possible|
Native Merchant Services is committed to helping you succeed. We know that as an entrepreneur, every expense tied to your business affects your bottom line. As far as mobile payment processing goes, we understand that you want the highest speed and tightest security possible, but you don’t want fees cutting into your profit margin. It’s our guarantee that you’ll get everything you want in terms of speed, security and reliability in mobile payment processing when you partner with Native Merchant Services.
As a tax-exempt, Native American-owned company, we’re able to offer the lowest processing fees in the mobile payments industry. With our full commitment to the success of your business, we’re totally upfront about our rates, and we never charge hidden fees. Unlike our competitors, which hike their rates without warning, we guarantee our rates as the lowest in the business. If you find an offer elsewhere for less, tell us, and we’ll give you $500. If your business generates more than $10,000 in monthly sales transactions, we’ll give you a credit terminal —absolutely free.
Native Merchant Services Now Offers Apple Pay — the Most Secure System for Mobile Payment Processing
With Apple Pay, your customers can pay for merchandise by simply tapping their iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch devices at checkout. Each completed sale is confirmed within seconds by a light beeping sound. For customers, there’s no need to fumble for cards or checks and no need to carry change or cash. They won’t even need to open their apps.
Apple Pay is compatible with the majority of leading credit card brands, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express. For cardholders, all the same benefits of traditional plastic apply with use of the app.
Apple Pay also makes the sales process easier for your online customers. When items are purchased off your website, the customer submits his or her fingerprint on iPhone 6’s Touch ID screen or double-clicks Apple Watch’s Digital Crown button. The whole process completes in seconds flat with no sensitive data shared and no lengthy numbers entered.
When you accept payments through Apple Pay, customers know that you care about their privacy and security. Universally acclaimed for the data encryption of its devices, Apple secures each transaction with individualized sales codes that are never stored on the company’s servers.
Native Merchant Services offers the lowest fees in mobile payment processing because, as a Native American-owned company, we’re exempt from paying taxes, and we pass that savings on to our merchant clients. We also offer benefits through our Merchant Rewards Program, in which the more sales you process through Apple Pay, the more you earn in cash-back rewards.
At Native Merchant Services, we want to help you and your customers reap the benefits of mobile payment technology. Learn more and call us today to get set up with the Apple Pay mobile-payment processing system for your business.