A recent survey commissioned by Samsung Electronics America revealed that while small businesses may not always have the most up-to-date technology, most of their customers are on board when it comes to mobile payments. The survey, which was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, found that the customers of most of the small businesses polled want to pay with their smartphones, and they expect the use of mobile payments to grow. However, a Pew Charitable Trusts study indicated that banks and mobile payment providers must do a better job of explaining the safety and security of mobile payment apps if they want more customers to use it.
Mobile technology certainly is convenient – it allows consumers to not just pay for purchases in person at a point-of-sale (POS) location and online, but also allows bill payments and the sending and receiving of money. It also allows consumers to receive rewards and discounts, particularly when merchants have loyalty/reward programs integrated with their mobile apps, and to receive real-time information about bank account balances, which helps them to avoid checking account and overdraft fees. Below are some reasons why consumers like to use mobile payments:
“Contactless” transactions. The consumer is, at all times, in possession of the payment device. A card or cash is never handed over to the sales person. Mobile payments work by activating the app on a smartphone, then lightly tapping the phone on the payment terminal. There are no cards that can be lost, stolen, misused or damaged. And, heads-up germophobes – there is no physical exchange between you and the sales person, so you can shop more comfortably.
DO leave home without it. Your wallet, that is. There are some people who leave for work in the morning carrying enough bags to make it look like they’re going away for a long weekend, and there are others who just don’t like carrying stuff. Mobile payments work for both types of people – the pack rats have one less thing to carry and for the minimalists, they can leave all but their smartphone and ID at home. With wider acceptance of mobile payments in stores and restaurants, your smartphone is just about all that you need.
Security. There has been much said about the public’s fears about the security mobile payments, particularly what happens if the smartphone is stolen. Consumers can be confident that mobile payments are very secure, as most mobile devices now use two-factor authentication, such as Apple Pay’s PIN and fingerprint scan, which would render a stolen phone unusable to a thief. Payment information is also protected through tokenization, which encrypts the information and renders it useless to a hacker or thief.
Mobile payments are for everyone. Whether your smartphone is an iPhone, an Android device or a Samsung-branded device, you can use mobile payments. The system works the same way, regardless of which phone or mobile wallet you are using. They also work across devices, so the true minimalists may not even have to carry a smartphone – they can pay with their smartwatch!
Mobile payments are everywhere. In addition to retail and restaurants, mobile payments are accepted at gas stations, government offices and airports, too. Using a mobile wallet when traveling can help keep all of your travel expenses in one place, which can be especially helpful if you are traveling on business and need to keep careful track of all expenses accrued during the trip.
People love their smartphones. Last but not least is the simple fact that people just love their smartphones. We rely on them for everything, including keeping track of appointments, waking us up in the morning, tracking our fitness, taking photos, and driving directions. We literally take them everywhere with us, even to the bathroom. It is therefore no surprise that the next logical step will be to rely on our smartphones to pay for purchases.
While mobile payment transactions are still a small percentage of overall transactions, the number has been increasing over the last couple of years, and it is expected to continue to increase, as more people discover the convenience and security of mobile payments. Merchants who have yet to install the technology would be wise to look into doing so sooner than later, so they are ready to accept mobile payments when their customers begin to bring out their phones more than their credit cards to pay for merchandise.