Don't Believe Everything You Hear: Myths About Mobile Payments

Business.com / Financial Solutions / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Four common myths about mobile payments and the corresponding facts that will solve any confusion.

When you own a business, how you sell your goods and services, and how quickly you’re paid for those transactions, is paramount to your success.

Though mobile payments can be a simple tool to boost your operational efficiency and cash flow, the technology remains shrouded in quite a bit of misinformation for consumers and merchants who use them.

Here are four common myths about mobile payments and the facts behind the confusion that surrounds the technology.

Related Article: Show Me the (Mobile) Money: How Mobile Payments Will Change Your Business

Myth #1: Mobile Payments are Insecure

Mobile payments allow merchants to use their smartphone or tablet as the device that facilitates payment, but the mobile device’s role in the transaction is no different than that of a cash register. The security protocols for mobile payments are just as secure as those that take place on a fixed point of sale (POS) system, assuming the payment provider uses Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance standards during transaction processing.

The customer’s card information is not stored in the merchant’s mobile device, or housed in its business records when you use a reputable mobile payment processor to transact. If a merchant misplaces a device, the customer’s credit card number cannot be retrieved from it simply because it was recently keyed into the device to make a mobile payment.

Myth #2: The Technology is Still too New

Though mobile payments have recently become more widely accepted by small business owners in the last few years, contactless payments in various forms have existed for nearly a decade.

Mobile payments remain a newer technology to many consumers and business owners in the United States, yet global trends are quickly shifting toward mobile use. A recent survey of global consumers conducted by ING indicated that more than half of consumers in Turkey and Poland use mobile payments, and that those in the United States, Spain and Romania have steadily increased their adoption of the technology as well.

Related Article: How Do You Know If Your Phone Is Safe? 

Myth #3: Mobile Payment Systems are Expensive and Complex

Mobile payment systems are extremely affordable for small business owners, particularly compared to wired POS terminals. Though fees vary, many mobile payment providers base costs as a percentage of the transaction amount, and will even provide the small dongle you plug into the mobile device’s headphone jack for free. By stark contrast, traditional swipe terminals can cost up to $1,000.

Installing a mobile payment system into a mobile device requires little more than establishing a merchant account and downloading a payment providers app.

Myth#4: They’re Just a Form of Payment

Why mess with mobile payments when you already have a point of sale terminal or are doing just fine with cash? Because they deliver far more for your business than simply incorporating one more form of payment choice.

In addition to expediting the amount of time customers must wait to pay in a checkout line, many mobile payment providers incorporate customer loyalty programs that small businesses can easily manage and leverage as targeted promotional tools that reward customers for coming back.

If you sell at pop-up shops, festivals, remote locations or from the client’s site, mobile payments empower you to process customer payments from anywhere, regardless of whether or not the customer is carrying cash.

Mobile payments can also help you better manage your cash flow. Most processors electronically transfer funds to the bank account you specify within 72 hours of transaction acceptance, and many offer the ability to accept payments in multiple currencies. 

As consumers and business owners become increasingly reliant on mobile devices, using a phone or tablet to pay will no longer seem like a mysterious technology reserved for early adopters, or a trend that will pass as technology evolves.

Influential brands and merchants continually shift their processes to accommodate mobile payments and mobile wallets, small business owners who leverage them can realize the same operational efficiencies that major merchants incorporate into their business models to serve customers and establish a competitive advantage.

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