The holiday season is upon us and with it brings the busiest shopping period of the year.
29th November 2013
The holiday season is upon us and with it brings the busiest shopping period of the year. Increasingly, consumers are making their holiday purchases from their tablets or smartphones. For merchants looking to cash in on this holiday shopping season, the ability to accept mobile payments is vital.
Not since the advent of the credit card has payment technology so significantly shaped American consumer behavior. With 6 billion mobile phone subscriptions globally, mobile communications have a profound effect on people’s lives, both socially and financially. As a merchant, this means that consumers are walking around your store with a little computer in their hands that allows them to compare prices, read reviews, find deals, and inform their friends—all within the confines of your store. You need to be able to harness this new tool and ensure that it is working for you, not against you. If you are an online retailer, you need to leverage the power of this phenomenon to your advantage by providing a truly optimized mobile web and/or native application experience. If you are multi-channel, then you need to plan support for your mobile consumers, no matter the channel.
There are many estimates on the size of the opportunity presented by mobile payments. Juniper Research predicts $670 billion in transaction value by 2015, and Yankee Group believes that mobile transaction volume will be $545 billion by 2015. In the U.S., nearly 87 percent of phones being sold are smartphones. Whichever prediction you believe, the fact remains that mobile is having a profound impact on consumers’ purchasing experiences and, as a merchant, you need to have a strategy on what to do and when to do it.
For merchants and business owners, mobile payments present a unique opportunity to connect with customers and deliver value in a more personal way. Merchants should accept mobile payments not just be-cause it’s the latest trend, but because it can enhance and deepen their relationships with existing customers—and it can create opportunities to attract new customers.
Transactions Trends’ first-ever Merchants’ Guide to Mobile Payments is designed to help merchants adjust to the changing payments landscape with practical knowledge regarding mobile payments acceptance.
As a merchant, the benefits of mobile payment acceptance will vary depending on your type of business and consumer demographics, but here are some of the benefits to expect when deploying a mobile payments system:
1. More consumer data—Many mobile payment services also include online transaction reports, which can provide a better understanding of consumer behavior and how to better service customers’ needs. For example, you could use this data to ensure that the favorite products of your best customers are always in stock, or to deliver more targeted, promotional offers for products that consumers desire.
2. Increased consumer control—Mobile payments empower your customers and allow them to pay with their preferred method and funding mechanism while easily controlling all of their loyalty and reward points in a single place.
3. Flexibility at the register—Mobile technologies allow consumers to make purchases utilizing their devices anytime, anywhere. Merchants can enable consumers to shop utilizing mobile browsers or apps while at home or in the store. When ready to complete the purchase, the consumer simply executes the transaction. The merchant’s systems receive notification and the goods are ready for pickup at the customer service counter. This also can be coupled with a mobile checkout or tablet-based POS system that allows the merchant to interact with the consumer and complete the sale on the show floor.
4. Faster checkout—If a merchant participates in a daily deal program or offers specials via coupons, these can be automatically administered by the consumer utilizing his or her mobile device. Scanning a QR code for a payment tied to an offer can be significantly quicker than keying the offer into a computer then processing the payment.
5. Enhanced security—Mobile devices provide more security than standard mag stripe credit cards. Phones can be locked with a password, all mobile payment applications can be set to require a password, and phones can be configured to have all of their data wiped remotely.