Mobile Payments and the Global Marketplace

July 10, 2015

in Manage Your Finances

Authored by Benoit Le Tohic

Sponsored by Sage X3

Mobile Payments and the Global Marketplace

According to Juniper Research, the global value of mobile payments expected to rise dramatically to $670bn by the end of the year, and interest in this area is intensifying.

Companies from a range of industries are joining this growing market. In addition to banks, technology and social networking giants such as Google and Facebook are also entering the fray.

In July, Apple Pay will begin rolling out internationally, and will be available to use through many major banks including American Express, Santander and NatWest. And more than 250,000 retailers and services will support Apple Pay in the global market.

The infrastructure is already in place for the mobile payment system, since most “chip” card terminals already have technology built-in to accept contactless payments. In places where the contactless technology is less prominent due to the still-active use of older magnetic strip credit cards, this is expected to change dramatically in the coming months.

In the US, for example, an October deadline looms for merchants to install terminals featuring chip card technology.

This wave of innovation is good news for consumers, who are already becoming accustomed to using their smartphones for financial transactions. But with a range of benefits on offer, from increased sales revenues through to new ways of capturing customer data, businesses are also waking up to the opportunities (more of which later).

This helps explain why companies ranging from giants such as Starbucks, down to small merchants and sole traders, are already taking their first steps into the world of mobile payments.

Mobile payments technology opens the door to a whole range of ancillary services – for example, sales analytics, mobile marketing, inventory control, and more. As technology evolves and the case studies become more compelling, organizations of all sizes can benefit from the mobile payments revolution.

Here’s how small and medium-sized businesses can benefit:

  • Mobility. With phone-based payments, your team can take the transaction to the customer.
  • Real-time customer data. Mobile payments create a new source of customer data, leading to targeted promotions, loyalty plans and other related services.
  • Low barrier to entry. Many of the technologies now coming onto the global market will be extremely affordable, so there are viable options even for the smaller merchants.
  • Higher sales. The number of consumers with mobile phones is ever-increasing, and those consumers are seldom without their phones. This means that they can pay for goods and services wherever they are, without having cash on hand—a level of convenience which translates into more sales.

The mobile payments market is exciting, with a range of players about to unveil new solutions. It’s an incredibly open and fast paced arena, and we’re now starting to see mobile pay initiatives from technology providers like Google, social networks like Facebook, and major retailers. This is on top of more traditional banks, which are pursuing more individualized strategies within the mobile payment space.

While all of this innovation is great news for consumers and businesses alike, small and mid-sized businesses have much to gain from this technology revolution: a level playing field with even more ways to capitalize on opportunities and stay competitive.

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