3 Reasons to Start Accepting Mobile Payments
Consumers’ increasing dependence on mobile apps and technologies to handle everyday tasks is good news for small-business owners. Smartphones and tablets not only allow you to take advantage of cost-effective mobile search and banner ads (and use SMS to target users while they’re right around the corner), but they also make it easy and affordable for you to process credit-card transactions.
Nearly half of U.S. small businesses say they’ve budgeted for mobile marketing in 2012, a recent survey of 4,200 SMBs by Borrell Associates shows. Yet many entrepreneurs have yet to adopt a mobile payment technology. What’s stopping them — and perhaps you? Some business owners don’t fully understand the technology’s benefits to their company or consumers, whereas others subscribe to one or more popular myths about the mobile market (see infographic below).
Here are three reasons to consider adopting a mobile payment technology:
The future is now. Although U.S. consumers have been slower to demand mobile services than their counterparts in places like Japan and India, change is on the horizon — and it’s coming sooner than you may think. According to a Nielsen survey, 27 percent of smartphone owners and 28 percent of tablet owners have used their devices to make a purchase. At the 2012 D10: All Things Digital conference, venture capitalist and former Wall Street analyst Mary Meeker predicted that by 2015 American consumers’ use of mobile payments will surpass current usage in the earlier-adopting countries noted above.
Mobile is a means to capture low-hanging fruit. When U.S. consumers do come to expect mobile payments, the small businesses who accept them will reap the rewards. Portio Research projects that worldwide smartphone ownership will double by 2016 and that mobile payment purchase volume will exceed $1 trillion by the end of that year. Aside from increased market potential, small businesses equipped with the technology will recognize new opportunities to reduce costs, thanks to mobile payment plan options like "pay as go," that are tailored to small businesses with unpredictable revenue. A recent Intuit GoPayment study (noted in the infographic below) revealed that its users new to accepting credit cards boosted sales by more than $1,000 per month. Mobile payments can also increase business cash flow: Mobile providers issue payments for transactions in two to three days, eliminating the frustration and slow “check is in the mail” approach to invoicing and collections.
It's a competitive advantage. As mobile-marketing intelligence deepens (based on increased consumer use of tablets, smartphones, and apps), small-business owners are challenged to compete with larger companies whose budgets and technological resources allow them to appeal to customers through cross-channel capabilities, that deliver a "buy anywhere, get anywhere" style of service that small businesses simply can't offer. According to TrendWatching's July 2012 Trend Briefing, "showing one's connectedness and being in the know will be an ever-richer source of social status" to today's consumer. Adopting mobile payment services allows small business to keep pace with such changes in consumer behavior, without requiring deep investments in technology and operations infrastructure.
Check out this infographic for more!
Stephanie Taylor Christensen is a former financial services marketer who brings more than a decade of experience in marketing and writing to her career as a full-time freelance writer and small business owner.