5 mobile merchant services to help your business grow
As more and more consumers use mobile wallets like Android Pay and Apple Pay, merchants who don’t adapt this technology risk falling behind. By December of 2015, Deloitte estimated that 5 percent of the world's approximately 600 million near-field communication-enabled phones were used to submit a payment one or more times per month.1 What’s more, Forrester predicts that Americans will spend $142 billion using mobile payments by 2019.2 Widespread adoption of mobile merchant services is just ramping up, so it’s important businesses stay ahead of this trend.
Why choose mobile payments
Getting started with any new technology can seem like a big task. However, there are many benefits to accepting mobile payments. By accepting a broader range of payment options, your customers will be happier and more loyal. Using mobile payments can also make transactions run more quickly since they only require shoppers to tap their smartphones on the card reader—rather than pull out their traditional wallet, locate the correct card and swipe that card on the terminal. Your customers will appreciate you accepting mobile payments because they won’t have to worry about bringing their wallet or purse each time they go shopping. They’ll simply grab their phone and be out the door. Chances are, your shoppers already carry their smartphones with them practically 24/7, so paying with this device just makes sense.
Contrary to what many people still believe, near-field communications (NFC) payments like Android Pay and Apple Pay are actually more secure than traditional payments. Mobile wallets often require the user to enter a passcode or token before initiating a transaction, making it very difficult for a phone thief to successfully use the stolen phone to make a purchase. In a mobile transaction, the shopper doesn’t have to ever hand over the physical card, greatly reducing the chance of theft or card skimming.
Here are five simple steps to getting started with mobile merchant payment services:
1. Partner with a savvy payment processor
If you’re considering using mobile payment technology, you should speak with your payment processor first. Some payment processors accept only specific forms of mobile payments, so you want to be sure the solution you’re considering will be compatible with your processor. If your current payments processor doesn’t offer many or any mobile payments acceptance options, it may be time to explore other processors who are committed to staying abreast of the latest technology. You shouldn’t limit yourself to a payment processing company that only integrates with one types of digital wallet; doing so will limit your customer base and overall growth potential. Work with a processor that has expertise in mobile and all other types of payments so they can help simplify your company’s transition to mobile payments.
2. Invest in NFC-enabled equipment
To start accepting payments from mobile wallets, you’ll need to purchase and install equipment that reads NFC technology. This contactless technology—used today in payments and in many other applications—allows two devices to exchange data over a short distance. An NFC-enabled POS system allows merchants to run payments from customers who want to pay using a mobile wallet such as Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay. If you haven’t yet upgraded your equipment to EMV-enabled credit card processing technologies, consider implementing NFC-enabled tools at the same time.
3. Expand into gift and stored value cards
Stored value or gift card programs are another way that you can integrate mobile payments into your business. Many of today’s gift card programs can be converted into digital gift cards to enable customers to pay using their smartphone. You might be surprised to learn that digital gift cards are growing at a rate of 20 percent, while traditional plastic gift cards are growing by only 6 percent.3 Get in on this awesome growth potential for your business by implementing digital gift cards now. You can also incorporate cash back rewards and automatic reloading to provide customers with even more options for purchasing from and engaging with your business.
4. Consider a mobile card reader
There’s more than one side to mobile payment processing. Depending on your type of business and your payments acceptance needs, it may make sense for you to invest in mobile card readers to accept payments on the go. Simply plug the mobile card reader into a smartphone or tablet, connect with WiFi or a cellular network and you’re all set to accept payments wherever business takes you. Many mobile card readers also accept NFC payments, so you can expand your options even further. Your staff can also use mobile card readers to accept payments in-store—right on the sales floor—to reduce wait time and deliver better customer service.
5. Market your offerings to customers
Once your equipment and systems are set up for mobile payments, make sure you spread the word to consumers that you now offer this hot payment option. Use email marketing to send out a blast letting customers know they can pay for your goods or services using a digital wallet. Hang signage throughout your locations to draw attention to your updated payment processing tools. Many shoppers own smartphones with the technology for mobile payments, but have been slow to adopt this payment processing method. Show them how using mobile payments is simple, secure and worthwhile. For example, write a blog post on your corporate website that educates customers on how to use mobile wallets, which will help to boost adoption at your store.
There’s no denying it: Mobile is the future of the payments industry. Make the investment in this new technology now to get ahead of the trend, capture your customers’ attention and boost your bottom line. Your customers will thank you for the convenience and security of mobile payments by being loyal customers for years to come.