Consumer adoption of smart phones, tablets and mobile technology has increased rapidly, and soon will begin to impact how customers make payments. As a small business, you should understand mobile wallet technology and the effect it can have on the way you accept credit cards.
Mobile wallets use near-field communication (NFC) chips inside mobile smart phones and tablets to transmit payment information. When a customer is ready to pay using a mobile wallet, they open an app on their smart phone or other device. The customer then enters a PIN and selects the payment account they wish to use, along with any special offers or customer reward programs they want to apply. At the time of payment, they simply tap their device to an enabled payment terminal, and the payment information is transmitted.
Competition within the mobile wallet space is just getting started. Currently, there are two notable mobile wallet providers that have the potential to dominate the space in the near term – Google Wallet and Softcard™. Google Wallet, which launched last year, has opened its acceptance to all major payment brands to try to gain wider adoption. Softcard is a joint venture between AT&T™, T-Mobile®, and Verizon™. Softcard's carrier backing is a key factor differentiating it from other mobile wallet offerings and could make or break its success in the ever evolving mobile wallet space.
Merchants who accept mobile wallet payments could see these benefits:
Another important feature is that mobile wallets can allow businesses to use their existing loyalty, customer management and marketing strategies in new ways. Customer engagement can be increased as loyalty offers will become easier to transmit and redeem.
As with other payment technologies, there is a strong potential for widespread adoption in a short amount of time. Businesses of all sizes should be prepared and acquire the appropriate merchant services account or update their existing payment hardware to accept these types of payments. Not being prepared to accept mobile wallet sales could have a negative impact on your business, costing you customers and causing you to miss the time and cost savings that mobile wallet payments can provide.
Small business in particular may face some challenges in adopting new technologies, including mobile wallet payments. Fortunately, Chase Paymentech offers an all-in-one payment solution for small businesses. The Future Proof Payment Terminal enables businesses to accept NFC mobile wallet transactions while still allowing for traditional credit card processing. In addition, other new technology, such as EMV chip and contactless credit card transactions, are also supported. With our simple system, your business can be ready to help customers pay quickly and efficiently, no matter what payment method they choose.