In the world of retail, mobile payment processing is becoming one of the biggest and most important sources of income for small to medium sized businesses. It’s not just limited to them, though. Some of the world’s biggest businesses are exclusively using mobile payment systems to process their credit card payments. With the advent of small-businesses and other startups finding it easier to use companies that process mobile payments, the ability to process customer payments on a mobile platform is becoming more and more valuable.
Mobile payment technologies are usually employed on mobile devices such as the iPhone or iPad. Some applications allow the camera or webcam of the phone or tablet to snap a picture of a bar-code, which may then be used to carry out a transaction. The capabilities of this technology are amazing. Just imagine having the ability to close a business deal using your phone on the go or to buy needed supplies for your business in the middle of a rush hour! This sort of accessibility could revolutionize small countries’ economies, allowing small businesses to reach more customers with greater ease. The potential of this field has many business owners opting for mobile processing even though the industry is still in its infancy.
Fortunately, IDC Financial Insights predicts that businesses processing mobile payments are on the rise. The consulting and research company expects mobile payments to exceed $1 trillion worldwide by the year 2017. Cloud-based “digital wallets,” which allow consumers to make payments and redeem discounts with an online database, are expected to go hand in hand with services that process mobile payments.
Of course, IDC is also taking a realistic approach to the new numbers, with one of its directors stating that mobile payments still have “a long way to go” in terms of taking the lead in consumer transactions. Many businesses, including Apple, believe that NFC technology is still in need of some tweaking before it is ready to be adopted on a wide scale. With NFC technology that is expected to handle sensitive items like credit card numbers, addresses and other personal information, it’s important to ensure that consumers’ information will not land in the wrong hands or be accessed by the wrong people.
It can be argued that other countries with simpler economies are more ready for wider spread implementation of mobile commerce. The US has more avenues to secure before NFC payments can be trusted with large amounts of payment information. In fact, it’s likely that some countries might actually benefit from mobile payment processing, particularly those with densely packed populations that make it difficult to transport goods and services from one location to another.
In addition to improving security measures for handling sensitive data, businesses should also consider adding rewards programs to their mobile commerce applications. IDC’s research has found that customers tend to utilize mobile payments with businesses that offer the best rewards and discounts. Regardless of the speculation surrounding this new technology, it’s obvious that the new frontier in commerce is mobile payment systems, as it is rapidly gaining steam one transaction at a time.