These days, it’s almost impossible to run a business without accepting mobile payments. It’s not just about your customers’ convenience: there are also significant benefits for you as a seller. When a customer can use their mobile device to make a payment, the transaction is more likely to happen immediately, putting the money in your pocket sooner.
That said, it’s important to choose the right payment system and set it up the right way, to ensure all payments go through smoothly. In this article, I’ll share what I’ve learned from my own experience so you can start accepting mobile payments as soon as possible.
What Are Mobile Payments?
The definition is quite simple: a mobile payment is a payment made using a mobile device, such as a smartphone, a tablet, or even a smartwatch. This type of payment method allows consumers to complete transactions using just their mobile device, with no need to take out their wallet or credit card.
You can use mobile payments for a variety of different transaction types, including:
- Point-of-sale purchases
- Online purchases
- Subscription payments
- Bill payments
- Money transfers
- Employee paychecks
How to Accept Mobile Payments
Once you decide to accept mobile payments, the process is simple. The steps you’ll need to take depend on the type of business you run.
If your business is online, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- If you don’t have a payment services provider, sign up for one now. Make sure your provider can enable you to accept mobile payment methods.
- Set up the payment infrastructure on your website. Pay.com offers a no-code setup process that only takes a few minutes.
- Sync up your business bank account so that you’ll be able to receive the funds.
If you have a physical store or you provide in-person services, the process will be pretty much the same, but you’ll also need to purchase a card reader. It’s better to buy one that can accept credit cards as well as contactless payments.
Once you’ve got your system up and running, be sure to let your customers know that you’ve added new payment options. You can announce it on your website, advertise on social media, or send out an email to your mailing list.
If you want to take it a step further, you can even offer incentives, such as special discounts to encourage people to use mobile payment options instead of traditional payment methods.
Why Should You Accept Mobile Payments?
Accepting mobile payments can have many benefits for your business, including:
- Getting paid faster: Mobile payments are processed right away, and the funds are transferred directly to you.
- Saving time: Mobile payments eliminate the need for manual invoicing, printing bills and receipts, or following up with customers to collect payment.
- Analyzing customer data: A mobile payment system can help you capture valuable data about your customers, that you can later use for targeted marketing. Just be sure to respect both your customers’ privacy and the privacy laws in your region.
- Increasing customer satisfaction: Customers appreciate a smooth and easy checkout process that allows them to pay with the method of their choice.
- Enhancing security: The advances in mobile payment technology means these types of transactions are more secure and offer better protection against fraudulent activities.
- Improving your bookkeeping: You can connect your mobile payment system directly to your accounting system, eliminating the need for manual data entry and the potential for human error.
- Increasing your revenue: The more payment options you offer, the more customers will complete their purchases on your site.
4 Types of Mobile Payment Solutions
The four main types of mobile payments are browser-based, app-based, mobile credit cards, and contactless. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Browser-Based Mobile Payments
Some online mobile payment services are browser-based. This means that in order to complete a purchase, the customer enters their payment information into a form on a website through their mobile browser.
In some cases, the website will have its own built-in payment infrastructure, while in others, the customer will be directed to a different website in order to complete the transaction. In both cases, the entire purchasing process takes place within the browser.
You’ll find this payment method on many ecommerce sites. Customers go to a checkout page, where they enter their payment details. The merchant’s payment services provider takes care of the rest.
App-Based Mobile Payments
Some businesses have their own apps which customers can pay through, instead of using their mobile browser. This works the same way as browser-based payments, but the customer enters their information into the app instead of a website.
App-based mobile payments are more common among larger businesses, particularly food giants like Starbucks and McDonald’s, but any company of any size can create an app if it wants. There are plenty of smaller businesses which offer this payment method as an option.
Mobile Credit Card Payments
While nothing beats the convenience of shopping online, brick-and-mortar businesses and in-person service providers should also be able to accept mobile payments.
If the merchant has a mobile credit card reader designed to accept mobile payments, customers can use the digital wallet or other payment app on their smartphone. More and more businesses are investing in mobile card readers these days, for obvious reasons.
Contactless payments are becoming increasingly common in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
You’ll need an NFC reader to be able to accept contactless payments. It’s a simple device, and a customer just needs to hold their phone close to it in order for the transaction to go through.
Types of Mobile Payment Technology
NFC (near-field communication) technology transmits payment information stored on a customer’s NFC-enabled mobile device or credit card to an NFC reader when the two devices are within very close proximity of each other.
To keep the payment information secure during transmission, it’s tokenized and encrypted.
QR codes are popping up everywhere, and they can be used for payments, too. When a customer uses their mobile phone to scan the code, they’re taken to a webpage or app where they can enter their payment information.
Mobile Payment Apps
There are plenty of mobile payment apps out there, and as a merchant, you can choose which ones to accept. It’s a good idea to do some market research to make sure you’re accepting all the payment methods your customers like.
Keep in mind that each payment app has its own fee structure. If you use Pay.com as your payment infrastructure, you’ll know exactly how much you’ll have to pay in fees. You won’t have to face any nasty surprises at the end of the month.
If your customer base is primarily made up of iOS or Android users, you’ll want to take this into account as well.
Here’s a list of some of the most popular mobile payment apps:
Are There Any Downsides to Accepting Mobile Payments?
The two downsides to keep in mind are the costs and the potential security issues, but neither one has to be a big deal if you’re using the right payment services provider.
If you want to accept mobile payments, you’ll need to pay fees: in most cases, either a flat rate or a percentage of the transaction.
Mobile payments are generally highly secure, but there’s still a perceived risk, and some customers may feel nervous about using them. It’s always good to offer alternative payment options as well.
Accepting Mobile Payments with Pay.com
With Pay.com, you can easily integrate any payment methods you want to accept, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and many others. You can also create QR codes your customers can scan, or send them direct payment links which they can use to pay on their mobile device.