Make Your Small Business Mobile-Payment Ready
Mobile payment technology is on the rise. Many factors are changing the payment landscape and moving consumers and businesses toward this payment method. Mobile commerce in general continues to increase with experts valuing global transactions of over $693 billion by the year 2019.
M-commerce is being positively impacted by the widespread adoption of powerful smartphones with larger screens. This trend is expected to continue with studies indicating that by 2020 as estimated 6.1 billion people will be using a smartphone and 80% of all mobile traffic will come directly from smartphone usage. That’s a very large global user base for mobile payments.
In the U.S. alone there were approximately 85.5 million iPhone users at the end of 2016, according to reports by Comscore. With the introduction of the new iPhone 8 and X models those numbers are expected to grow rapidly. Additionally, for iPhone users the launch of Apple Pay Cash service, still in beta mode, on November 7 provides an additional means to pay a person or business that is set-up on the service as well through the Messaging app.
Currently, there are a number of providers that offer mobile wallets. Banks such a Capital One, Bank of America, Chase, and others; along with Venmo, Square, PayPal, Google Wallet, and Wal-Mart Pay all offer a way for customers to pay for purchases using a smartphone that stores payment information and a program or app that is used to make the payment.
Many businesses have probably already taken the first step toward m-commerce by optimizing their company website for mobile viewing and shopping. Any small business looking at their website analytics has seen the need to provide a mobile-friendly site to help with ever-so important Google My Business and SEO rankings.
Secondly, in an effort to make point-of-sale transactions more secure (those with a credit or debit card), you should have migrated to a chip-and-pin system that uses EMV technology. The Payment Card Industry required this shift two years ago, otherwise your business assumes the financial responsibility for counterfeit card transactions.
The good thing is most terminal applications that support EMV contactless payments also support near-field communications (NFC), which is required for mobile payments. You can check with your EMV provider to check this capability, and if you aren’t currently using this technology, it’s time to purchase or upgrade systems that include it.
For small businesses to begin using Apple Pay Cash, they can visit the Apple Pay for Merchants page that offers information to help businesses get started. For customers it requires joining the Apple Public beta program and downloading iOS 11.2 or later. Payments are made through iMessage on an iPhone or Apple Watch and require no additional app.
Companies do need to be aware of some vulnerabilities associated with mobile payments such as public Wi-Fi, lost or stolen devices, weak passwords and user error. Mobile payment security requires data protection for hardware and software components with constant attention to changing risks and threat scenarios. Progress will continue to keep making mobile payments transactions more secure over time.
Plus, mobile payments can be a great tool for building customer loyalty. Accepting mobile payments early on will distinguish you from the competition. It provides customers a faster checkout process and seamless purchase without the hassle of cash or credit. Early adopting consumers will appreciate the investment in technology that you made, allowing them to pay right from their smartphones.
Source: CFO. Making the Connection. May 2016. PP41-43.