Diminishing are the days when you had to travel with a wallet full of cash in order to make purchases or to leave the store with bulky change and receipts. A growing number of merchants are jumping on board with the trend of mobile payments, and there are numerous benefits of this transaction method. It seems, in fact, that mobile payments are taking over. A recent Gartner report indicated that, by the year 2017, mobile commerce will account for half of all transactions in the United States. We can expect the trend to continue to grow, and there are a variety of reasons to believe this to be the case.
Understanding the Types
There are a variety of types of mobile payment options out there, and it’s important to understand them in order to find one that best fits your specific needs. Among the most popular include:
- The mobile wallet: Near Field Communication wireless technology allows users to easily pay by simply tapping your cell phone (one such example of this is Clipp Tab App) This allows you to leave sensitive items usually found in your wallet at home. Not to mention, it’s more likely you’ll forget your wallet when you go out than your phone.
- Mobile phone as credit card processor: this not only allows you to make payments, but you can also receive them. The option is a great one for entrepreneurs on the go who often attend street fairs and other similar events. Square and VeriFone’s PAYware Mobile are two popular options.
- PayPal: This is a versatile option that allows you to link to your bank account to access funds. You can make and receive payments as well as pay on-the-go.
- Serve: This is essentially American Express’s version of PayPal; however, with Serve, you can also use prepaid payment forms as well as create subaccounts
Changes in Mobile Payments: Replacing Google Wallet
Originally demonstrated at a press conference on May 26, 2011, Google Wallet is a popular mobile payment option that allows users to make transactions on their cell phones by simply tapping an app. It can be linked to the user’s Gmail account, allowing them to send money through Gmail attachments.
While the popularity of this app has been a direct result of its convenience, innovations in technology are constantly being made, and, on February 23, 2015, Google officially announced that it would be buying out the intellectual property of competitor Softcard. This equipment has been integrated into Google Wallet. Popular wireless carriers including AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile US, and Verizon Wireless have agreed to bundle the Google Wallet app on compatible devices for consumer use.
The end result of Google’s recent Merger is Android Pay, and the main goal of this upgrade is to compete with the highly successful Apple Pay mobile payment service. Popular credit card companies including American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa are on board, and users of Android Pay are able to take advantage of an increase in flexibility over Google Wallet. There are a number of unique benefits they can take advantage of including:
- Ability to avoid having credit card information stolen when in public by simply placing the mobile phone near a contactless terminal
- Ability to quickly and easily track payments as well as be quickly made aware of suspicious activity on accounts as precise information is made readily available after transactions take place
- Peace-of-mind in knowing that, if a mobile device is ever lost or stolen, the user is able to lock the device instantly and from any location, secure it with a new password, and even remove all of their personal information
Adapting to Change
Adapting to change is necessary, and never in history it happened at such a rapid pace. Whether or not you’re comfortable with the changes in the way we make our purchases, it’s evident that the pull toward mobile payments is going to continue to strengthen. While it takes time to adapt, there are numerous benefits consumers can take advantage of, and now’s the time to begin adapting to the changes and making mobile payment options a part of your life.