The way people pay for goods and services has been transforming rapidly in the last half of the 20th century. Many moons ago, people simply used cash, or even that old dinosaur known as the personal check, to pay for items at the store. Then, credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard became increasingly popular. Slightly more recently, the “debit” card was introduced, which was similar to paying with a check, because the money was withdrawn from your checking account, but in real time. Now welcome the age of the mobile phone and merchants have to prepare to accept mobile payments.
In the 21st century, accepting payments, is all about convenience, speed, and security and mobile payments are blazing the path.
Mobile payments are the solution that has the most buzz, and many of the big names in technology are in the game and working on ways to popularize their offerings with both consumers and merchants. Products such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay allow consumers to use their smartphone to pay for goods and services. The mobile wallet is used to store the consumer’s “cards” in digital form, and the user simply has to either tap, wave, or hold his or her phone in close proximity to the business’s credit card terminal or register. It is convenient, because the consumer doesn’t have to carry the actual card anymore. Speed comes into play because there’s no fumbling for the card and scanning it through a reader. This technology is called Near Field Communication, or NFC, and makes it possible to read payment methods just by having the device near a payment reader. It also provides security through the use of Secure Elements such as biometrics and secret PIN (personal identification numbers) which provides even greater encryption than chip cards. Additionally with NFC mobile payments the customers credit card information never is in the hands of the employee.
Mobile payments and digital wallets primarily function as a means to pay, but this technology also presents sales and marketing opportunities.
For example, many retailers and businesses offer a “Loyalty” program where customers earn points, which are then redeemed for rewards. These programs are generally unimaginative, but think about what could be offered if a business has data stored through a payment platform such as Apple Pay or Samsung Pay! Data on consumer behavior and past purchases can help a retailer provide a better loyalty incentive, which in turn could translate into increased sales. The incentives can even be sent while the customer is in the store, often increasing sales for the same visit.
In a nutshell, a mobile wallet can do more than just make payments – it can enhance the customer’s experience.
Mobile payments and digital wallet technology allows for businesses to target offers to specific customers. It can be quite simple to send a coupon or message to a customer, along with related items of interest based on past purchases. In addition, some mobile application allow for a “Buy Now” button makes the purchase seamless. Ease of purchase often equates to increased sales, and this type of mobile technology could be a simple way to increase sales. However, retailers should be careful to narrowly tailor offerings that fit their customers. Bombarding a customer with irrelevant offers will often backfire – only send those that can be directly tied to the customer.
So, as a business owner, you’re now all in on this technology. How do you get started with accepting mobile payments?
It’s relatively easy, and primarily requires a terminal and payment processor with NFC technology, which will allow you to accept one or multiple types of payments such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay. These terminals can be part of your entire merchant services solution, and it’s important to work with a reliable and trustworthy company. Bankcard Brokers is a payment processor with an excellent reputation for integrity, transparency, and also in providing cost effective solutions for a wide range of industries. Their agents are required to be ETA certified payment professionals, making them knowledgeable about all aspects of merchant services. Contact them today to get started with accepting mobile payments.
Bankcard Brokers even offers a FREE Terminal program that guarantees to not only save you money on your merchant services but also provide your business the technology to accept mobile payments.
Get started today!