It’s All Mobile: The Future Of Retail Payments

How Mobile Payments Change The Retail Commerce

Have you ever noticed that the older generation tend to carry more cash in their wallets than the younger generation? Of course, that’s partly because they have more money, in general, a lot of the time, but it goes further than that.

Mobile Payments

Image: By HLundgaard (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The older generation is more accustomed to carrying more cash because when they were younger, there wasn’t any alternative. Everything was paid for in cash so if you didn’t have enough, you were in trouble.

These days, it’s rare that you go somewhere that only takes cash. Occasionally you’ll find somewhere that doesn’t have a card machine and it’s annoying when you do. Cash is fast becoming obsolete and with the introduction of contactless card payments, it’ll soon be gone completely.

At the same time, phone technology is increasingly incorporating other technologies. All of the features that you normally have on your computer are accessible on your phone, so mobile payments were a natural progression. As we move towards a single device that performs all of our daily tasks, it’s inevitable that we’ll all use it for payments as well.

If your business isn’t set up for mobile payments, it’s not a huge problem at the moment. But in a few years, people will have the same reaction to a company that doesn’t support mobile payments as you would have to a shop that doesn’t have a card machine.

When you’re setting up mobile payments, it isn’t quite as simple as just buying a new card reader.

The technology is always evolving and there is a wide range of different platforms so you’ve got a lot of decisions to make. These are the considerations that you need to make when you’re switching to mobile payments.

Give People The Choice

While a lot of customers are starting to use mobile payments, there are still plenty of people that prefer older methods. You have to remember that there are whole generations that have been using cash for the majority of their lives.

They aren’t likely to want to buy a new smartphone because all of their favorite shops have stopped accepting cash or cards.

The transition to mobile payments isn’t going to happen overnight and you need to set yourself up for the period in between. Some companies make the mistake of thinking that they don’t need traditional credit card machines or cash tills anymore because everybody is using mobile payments.

If you do this, you’ll end up alienating huge portions of your customer base that will go elsewhere because you don’t take the payment methods that they prefer to use.

Educate Your Staff

New technologies can sometimes put customers off because they think that it’s easier to use a method that they know well rather than trying to work out a new mobile payment method.

Having customers use contactless mobile payments is beneficial for you because you get a quicker turnover at the till, so you want to encourage as many people as possible to use them.

If it takes people ages to pay because they don’t know how to use it, you’ll actually end up slowing things down instead. It’s vital that you train all of your staff thoroughly in how to use the new mobile payments before you start rolling it out.

Don’t Limit Yourself

Mobile Payments - All Eggs in a Basket

Image Source: Pixabay

At the moment, the two main mobile payment services are Apple Pay and Android Pay. That covers the majority of phones out there so if you support both, you should be able to accommodate most of your customers.

However, what you need to realize is that these are the two main payment services out there right now, but it won’t be that way forever. For example, Google and Paypal have developed their own services as well which may come to dominate the market later down the line.

If you put all of your eggs in one basket and fully commit to one single payment service, you’ll be in trouble if everybody stops using it in a few years.

You’ll be playing catch up trying to switch over to a more current payment service and customers will end up getting frustrated that you don’t support their preferred payment method.

Choose The Right Time To Upgrade

Lots of retailers are reluctant to upgrade to mobile payment services because of the cost, but when you actually look at the figures, a card machine with mobile payment capabilities is only slightly more expensive than a normal one.

If you wait until you are going to upgrade anyway, the extra expense will be minimal.

Mobile payments are certainly going to be the future of retail so if you haven’t started upgrading your systems already, look into it before it’s too late.

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